Local news for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets

KEMP Planning Inspectorate decision

This is a cut and paste from the Planning Inspectorate decision on Thames Water’s intentions for King Edward Memorial Park while they build their supersewer.  It’s not pretty in either formatting or content.

Original document (PDF) can be found here. This extract starts at page 365. Thanks to Pootling Paul for pointing us in the right direction.

KING EDWARD MEMORIAL PARK FORESHORE

Introduction

17.360 The location of the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore site has been challenged by the local authority and other Interested Parties including the local representative community group SaveKEMP.

17.361 In addition to the IS hearings, two OF hearings336 were held. The first was not well attended; a second was held in a local location identified specifically by community representatives, in the evening, although this also had low attendance. However, SaveKEMP and FTW Management Company were active participants in the IS hearings. We also undertook both accompanied and unaccompanied site inspections including visits to residential flats that would overlook the site.

Description of King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore work site

17.362 The proposed development site is located in LB Tower Hamlets and it is located on the northern bank of the River Thames, immediately in front of and occupying most of the river frontage section of the King Edward Memorial Park (KEMP).

17.363 KEMP is a relatively tranquil park337, which is bounded to the north by The Highway (A1203), to the east by a block of residential flats (FTW), to the southwest by Shadwell Basin Activity Centre (with Pier Head Prep School on the first floor) and to the west by a quiet residential road (Glamis Road). The park sits below the level of the main road, so it becomes more tranquil as one moves into the park towards the river.

17.364 The Park itself is 3.3ha in area and was opened in 1922 for the people of east London in memory of King Edward VII. It is the only open space in St Katherine’s, Wapping and Shadwell that provides accessible sports facilities for the local community. It includes a multi-use games area, tennis courts, children’s playground, bowling green, amenity grassland areas, hard standing, a band

336 19 November 2013 and 29 January 2014

337 Ref LIR REP096, section 3.1

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 365

stand as well as seating, including seats that afford views over the Thames. It is well used by the local community including local schools as an external teaching area. The riverside aspect of the frontage is particularly valued, and the LB Tower Hamlets confirms that ‘the park is a very important asset which contributes to the quality of life and wellbeing of the local community’ (REP096, section 3.1).

17.365 The local area has three primary and nursery schools within a 300m radius of the site. The closest is Pier Head Prep Montessori School which is only 8 metres from the boundary of the site (APP11, answer to Q11.6).

17.366 The North East Storm Relief CSO runs diagonally across the Park and discharges to the Thames near the eastern corner of the park. Also underneath the park is the Rotherhithe Tunnel, and its Grade II listed ventilation shaft is located near the water front on the southwest edge of the park.

17.367 There are two vehicle accesses to the park at either end of Glamis Road and a further four pedestrian accesses at various points around the perimeter of the park. The Thames Path crosses the riverfront of the park, but is diverted onto The Highway when the park is closed at night.

17.368 The site is described in detail in the Applicant’s ES Non-Technical Summary (Doc 6.1, section 23.1) and in LB Tower Hamlet’s LIR (REP096, section 3.1). The ES Non-Technical Summary includes a location plan and an aerial view of the site (figures 23.1 and 23.2).

Applicant’s proposals for use as a work site

17.369 The Applicant proposes to use the foreshore site as a CSO site. An interception chamber would be built on the outlet to the NE Storm Relief Sewer and flows would be directed to a 20m diameter drop shaft directly over the main tunnel in the foreshore (Doc 6.1, figure 23.4). This would require the construction of a temporary area of reclaimed land on the foreshore behind a cofferdam. The cofferdam would extend into the river and be located close to FTW and along a substantial part of the river frontage of the park. An aerial visualisation of the construction layout is shown in APP14, figure 9.6.

17.370 The duration of the construction works would be in the order of 3ó years of standard and extended working (Doc 6.2.21, para 9.2.6 and appendix G plate G13). Road access to the site would be via Glamis Road and along the front of the park, effectively severing the reminder of the park from the river frontage. A controlled pedestrian crossing across the site access road would be provided to allow both park and Thames Path users to access the foreshore area.

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 366

17.371 As well as the foreshore cofferdam, the contractor’s compound would occupy the current river frontage, an area of grassed park with trees (which would be removed) and the southern end of the playing fields, as shown on figure 9.5 (APP14). The area of park temporarily removed from public use is detailed in chapter 11 under the heading ‘King Edward Memorial Park’.

17.372 Before construction starts on site the Applicant would relocate the children’s playground to a new site in the park, and reconfigure the sports area to facilitate construction of an access road. The bandstand and benches would also need to be moved.

17.373 The temporary cofferdam would provide a working compound for construction of the drop shaft to the tunnel, and for the facilities required to load and unload barges. The cofferdam would provide berthing for 1,000T barges, with a tidal window of 5 hours 45 minutes (APP61, Q34.19). Barge loading/unloading and movements on or off the berth would be restricted to standard hours only (ie 08.00 to 18.00 weekdays and 08.00 to 13.00 Saturdays).

17.374 The Applicant has committed in the RTS to transport by river 100% of the excavated material from the shaft, and temporary fill for the cofferdam338 (APP207.02). Road transport would be used for materials not delivered by barge.

17.375 When the project is complete, the cofferdam would be removed, and a new river wall constructed that would extend onto the current foreshore to accommodate the drop shaft, valve chambers and ventilation columns. This area would be reinstated to form an area of new public realm and would form part of an extended park.

17.376 The above-ground structures would be limited to three signature ventilation columns and an electrical and control kiosk (Doc 6.1, figure 23.6). Details have yet to be agreed with the local planning authority. A permanent access for maintenance purposes would also be constructed from Glamis Road through the southern part of the park along the approximate alignment of the construction access route.

Issues raised during the examination

17.377 The site selection process assessed the site as less suitable for planning, socio-economic/community and property. The aspects of the environmental assessment of the site that were assessed as less suitable were ecology, flood risk, surface water, air quality and noise. The Applicant noted that these would require mitigation and acknowledged the socio-economic impact on FTW and the

338 Subject to operation derogations and an expectation that the volume of specified materials by river will not fall below the target of 90% (APP207.02, para 2.1.2)

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 367

users of the Park but made no mention of the Pier Head Prep School (Doc 7.05, volume 19).

17.378 The ES confirmed that significant impacts would be experienced at these receptors, even with on-site mitigation.

17.379 These subjects, as well as the selection of the site itself, formed much of the issues raised during the examination. In summary the key issues raised in the examination by both the local authority and other Interested Parties include:

? loss of use of the park, particularly loss of use of the river frontage and loss of 40 trees

? resultant noise and dust in the remaining part of the park and the impact on its amenity use

? measurement of ambient noise levels in the park and at FTW

? method of assessment of significance of impact

? noise and vibration impact on FTW

? the alternative of using Heckford Street site to reduce the impact on the park.

17.380 We received many representations concerning the issues on this site. Examples include:

? SaveKEMP which gave a detailed review of the proposals, and includes a comparative impact assessment for the two alternative sites (WRR084)

? FTW Management Company Ltd (including a report from Jacobs on vehicle trips to/from the Highway Trading Centre and Business Park at Heckford Street, and a baseline noise level survey by 7th Wave Acoustics in KEMP and FTW) (WRR040)

? Trafalgar Court, also known as Prospect Wharf (RRP838).

17.381 We were also particularly concerned about the impacts on Pier Head Prep School, which is located on the first floor of Shadwell Activity Centre (RRP1014). It is a small school, which would experience significant noise levels for over 26 months with a maximum increase of 11dBLAeq.

Mitigation measures for King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore

17.382 During the examination mitigation measures for the use of King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore site were improved and refined in more detail. The mitigation measures are secured in CoCP Part B, RTS and by legal agreement with the local authorities.

17.383 The site would be surrounded with the following hoarding/noise barriers:

? 2.4m high and planted on public facing sections

? 3.6m high around CSO drop shaft

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 368

? 6m high between the main shaft working area and FTW

? 2.4m high noise barriers on the western and eastern sides of the cofferdam perpendicular to the river wall (plywood and acrylic)

? 2.4m high noise barrier on the southern boundary of the access road (which contradicts the next point)

? 2.4m high open mesh along site access route, with gated access and traffic marshal. Fencing to be removed outside approved working hours.

17.384 The alignment of the 6m high hoarding by FTW is given in answer to the ExA’s R60.2 (APP170, appendix A). This shows that the hoarding would not have a material impact on daylight and sunlight amenity to the flats. This alignment is secured by the application drawings. The external appearance of the hoardings also requires approval by the local authority (CoCP Part B). It might be visually intrusive to the apartments on the lower floors, but we consider that it should not obstruct sunlight and daylight.

17.385 The CoCP Part B also includes the requirement for push piling ‘unless this is determined to be impossible’. This additional requirement has reduced the predicted impacts at FTW, however if push piling were to prove to be impossible, the impact would be significant.

17.386 The CoCP Part B includes for the following noise enclosures:

? plant shall be electrically powered where practicable

? all static plant screened or enclosed.

17.387 The CoCP Part B commits to loading or unloading or movement of vessels onto or off the berth only during standard working hours. However this is not secured in the RTS. This is an inconsistency between CoCP Part B and the RTS. However we consider that we can rely on the requirement in CoCP Part B (which has effect through requirement PW6) to provide adequate control, as it is only subject to change through approval by the relevant planning authority.

17.388 Even with the mitigation measures proposed, significant effects from noise are predicted at FTW and Pier Head Prep School for 24 months. The proposed 6m high hoardings adjacent to FTW would provide mitigation for the lower two floors only, but higher floors would still be significantly affected by noise, and the lower floors may be impacted visually from the hoardings themselves.

17.389 Provision of TAPs for noise insulation for both FTW (south) and the school have been secured through legal agreement with the Council and the Non-statutory off-site mitigation and compensation policy. For the school we have been advised in answer to our questions that the measures are expected to include secondary glazing to the main hall, blinds to reduce solar gain and

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 369

cooling/ventilation equipment (APP167, section 11). On this basis there appears to be a reasonable prospect that appropriate mitigation would be provided. However, with the level and duration of disruption at FTW (a staggered multi-level building with balconies) we are not clear how mitigation to a reasonable level can be ensured.

17.390 In addition if push piling proved not to be possible, then FTW would be significantly impacted by vibration as well as noise impacts.

17.391 The Applicant has now committed itself to improvements to the park and contributions to improve play facilities and other open spaces in the locality through a s106 agreement with LB Tower Hamlets. Improvements include contributions towards Glamis Road Adventure Playground, landscaping works in KEMP, a local open space contribution, and a temporary play facility at Brussels Wharf. These measures are discussed in chapter 11 under the heading ‘King Edward Memorial Park’.

17.392 The Applicant has stated in the ES Update Report that further on-site mitigation is not practicable (APP208.01.27, appendix 21.1). However, as discussed in chapters 11 and 12, with regard to land use and noise respectively, LB Tower Hamlets has repeatedly requested no Saturday working. SaveKEMP also support this approach and suggested that if a specific need for Saturday working arose it should be arranged through the community liaison group. As stated in chapter 12, we consider that even with a small extension of time (3.7 months) on site the restriction on Saturday working would be beneficial for the residents of FTW and for general respite for the users of the Park from noise and dust.

17.393 We also note that there are noise matters specified in CoCP Part B for other sites that could equally be included at this site eg specified noise restrictions for any cladding. We are satisfied that these could be addressed in the s61 consent process.

Assessment of residual impacts at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore

17.394 The Applicant’s ES Update Report gives a summary of the predicted residual impacts after the mitigation has been taken into account. The impacts for air quality, noise and socio-economic are reported on in chapters 5, 12 and 13. A brief summary is given below.

Air quality

17.395 The Applicant’s assessment of air quality has remained as negligible for all receptors, with minor adverse impacts from construction dust predicted for residents in the area (including FTW), Pier Head Prep School, and recreational users of King Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 370

Edward Memorial Park, the tennis courts, Thames Path and river users.

Noise and vibration

17.396 The mitigation measures now offered by the Applicant have reduced the predicted vibration impact from piling, and as a result what had been assessed as a significant impact from vibration at FTW has been reduced to not significant. This of course is subject to push piling being possible. However, we do consider that the Applicant has endeavoured to ensure this construction method as far as it could.

17.397 A significant effect from noise is still predicted for FTW (south) and Pier Head Prep School. The ES Update Report (APP208.01, section 21.7) confirms that even with the mitigation measures in place these two receptors would experience the following residual impacts:

? FTW (south): 63 to 80dBLAeq, exceeding the significant impact criteria for 24 months. The worst-case predicted noise level would be 80dBLAeq and is predicted to occur for one month from breaking out of hard standing (para 21.7.5).

? Pier Head Prep School would experience daytime noise levels 47 to 65dBLAeq, worst case above ambient of +11dBLAeq, overall duration above ambient 26 months (table 21.6).

17.398 As stated earlier TAPs have been proposed for FTW (south) and Pier Head Prep School.

17.399 LB Tower Hamlets remains concerned about the impacts on FTW (Middle and North), which is a definition used by the Applicant and the differentiation between the north, middle and south block is not necessarily clear on the ground or to the residents. In fact the written representation from FTW Management Company (3 March 2014), stated that it was not clear which part of FTW constitutes FTW ‘South’ and that there remain unacceptable effects at FTW ‘Middle’. It requested that the whole of FTW be the subject of a TAP and to benefit from treatment as a special case (REP442). The Applicant has responded that the TAP is limited to FTW South because that is where it considers the possible effects would be. It goes on to state that the impact would not be experienced by the whole of the building therefore it considers it would be ‘unreasonable and unnecessary’ to include the whole of FTW in the TAP (APP198.15). The qualifying façades of FTW South are now shown in the legal agreement for securing of off-site mitigation (APP209.03).

17.400 In chapter 12 (under the heading ‘open space: impacts from construction’) we consider the impacts from noise on the park during construction and conclude that the ES does understate the impact on the park.

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 371

17.401 No significant noise impact from road or river traffic is predicted at any receptor.

Socio-economic

17.402 The Applicant’s assessment of the residual socio-economic impact from the construction works with the mitigation works is as follows (APP208.01.27, table 10.10.1):

? residents: moderate adverse

? Pier Head Prep School: moderate adverse

? users of KEMP: moderate adverse (from both the reduction in open space and on amenity of the park)

? Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre: minor adverse

? users of Thames Path from temporary diversion: negligible

? users of Thames Path on amenity: negligible.

17.403 The ES gives no indication of the number of people or households that would be impacted by the construction works; however the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) does state that in the 2001 census, there were 4,175 people living within 250m of the site, with 31% children or older people and 79% of them being within the 20% most deprived areas nationally (Doc 7.12, appendix D, table D.99).

17.404 We remain concerned about the impacts of the loss of the park to the local community, during construction, when there are so few other similar facilities nearby. In chapter 11 we conclude that the use of part of King Edward Memorial Park during construction would be a serious loss to the local community which must be fully acknowledged in the s104 balance.

17.405 We agree with the Applicant and LB Tower Hamlets that the additional public realm created on the foreshore structure should be regarded as a benefit in terms of open space provision.

17.406 However, in chapter 8 we disagree with the Applicant’s assessment of the effect on the character and appearance of the park. We conclude that the new landscape works would do no more than compensate for the harm arising from the proposed development and we agree with the Council that the overall effect would be negligible rather than beneficial.

In-combination impacts

17.407 The Applicant has stated that the overall in-combination effects on quality of life would be a minor to moderate adverse impact when embedded mitigation measures had been taken into account. The Applicant considered that the impacts on residents would be at the lower end of the range (ie towards minor) and vulnerable people and children would be at the higher end of the range ie moderate adverse (APP60, table 4.19).

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 372

Local impact report and outstanding concerns

17.408 Many Interested Parties remain opposed to the selection of the site. LB Tower Hamlets’ case is summarised in its written representation dated 3 March 2014 and has not materially changed from that set out in the LIR (REP096). As well as its comment about the alternatives, to be discussed below, the Council’s position is that ‘notwithstanding these welcome improvements to the proposals for mitigation, the council still remains fundamentally opposed to the KEMP Foreshore site as was made clear at the Hearing. It considers that the Heckford Street/Park option, if fully developed, would have less harmful impacts on both local residents and the wider community as a whole for the reasons set out in the Local Impact report’ (REP447).

17.409 Even with the secured mitigation measures in place, significant impacts would remain during construction for occupiers of FTW (south), Pier Head Prep School, users of the park and the park itself.

Alternatives considered

17.410 In the site selection process King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore was the Applicant’s preferred site, although with an access route to the east of the park. Alternative sites were considered but the only two sites that went to the final short list were King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore and King Edward Memorial Park (a CSO entirely within the park). The foreshore option was taken forward to the final selection because it was judged by the Applicant to have a lesser impact on the park than a CSO connection in the park itself.

17.411 In the back-check process, the Applicant also considered the alternative of a small site in King Edward Memorial Park to intercept the CSO, which would connect to the main tunnel at Heckford Street industrial estate via a connection tunnel. The main tunnel alignment would therefore be inland (from that proposed at present) and pass through a deep intermediate drop shaft at the Heckford Street site (Doc 7.05, volume 19, para 3.4.5). However, King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore remained the preferred option at phase 2 consultation because the Applicant considered the impacts at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore would be the lesser of the two alternatives and the overall engineering solution would only require use of one site.

17.412 There is considerable local opposition to loss of use of the park. During the consultation phase, LB Tower Hamlets had asked the Applicant to consider in more detail the possibility of using the Heckford Street site instead of King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore. Despite many requests the Applicant declined to provide the full details requested by the local authority to assist its Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 373

understanding of why King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore was the Applicant’s preferred option over Heckford Street.

17.413 Moreover, LB Tower Hamlets had undertaken its own assessment of the two sites, with the Council’s weightings on the five disciplines (WRR097, appendix B). It found that:

? engineering: King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore is clearly the preferable option

? planning: Heckford Street is preferable

? environmental: Heckford Street is preferable

? community: Heckford Street is preferable

? property: King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore is marginally preferable.

17.414 It summarises that ‘when the combined scores for all the areas of consideration are taken into account the overall scores for the two options are similar’. In the analysis Heckford Street scored 14% greater than King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore option and the report suggested that both options be carried forward by the Applicant and be subject to detailed analysis before a preferred site was selected.

17.415 We received many relevant and written representations about the loss of the park asking for Heckford Street to be considered. These included representations from the Council, SaveKEMP and FTW Management Company Ltd.

17.416 We decided to consider two options as alternatives, because the application documents did not provide sufficient detail for us to review the Applicant’s justification for the site compound and whether there were suitable alternatives that would avoid the impacts before us. These alternatives are ‘Heckford Street and Park’ and the option for direct connection to tunnel in the park itself in an area away from the foreshore.

Heckford Street and Park

17.417 The Applicant provided more information about the ‘Heckford Street and Park option’ in response to our written question (APP14, section 9.6). The option would require two sites:

? Heckford Street for a 20m diameter shaft connection to the main tunnel on a revised alignment (shown on figure 9.1)

? CSO connection site in KEMP to divert the North East Storm Relief sewer to a 17m diameter shaft in the park (shown on figure 9.11).

The two sites would be connected by a 3.5m diameter, 295m long connection tunnel between the shaft in the Park and the shaft at Heckford Street. Heckford Street would be used as the drive site for the connection tunnel.

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 374

17.418 Heckford Street site is currently two industrial estates known as ‘The Highway Trading Centre’ and ‘Highway Business Park’. The site is accessed by Heckford Street which adjoins The Highway (A1203). The site is land bound (100m from the river) with roads on three sides including residential dwellings on the opposite side of Cable Street (16m from the site) and residential flats and the Shadwell Centre on Schoolhouse Lane. Use of the site would require relocation of 29 commercial units, warehouses and offices currently located on the site.

17.419 The Applicant’s outline drawings of the site in the park show a larger site area than had been indicated in the final report on site selection (Doc 7.05, volume 19, figure 3.2). We questioned the Applicant on the reasons for this, and opportunities to reduce the impact on the park, but were assured that the layout provided in answer to our question ‘represents an efficient use of space’ and that the area could not be materially reduced (APP59, section 13.1).

17.420 The Applicant argued that the use of two sites would not be a favourable engineering solution and neither would be the need to drive two tunnels almost vertically above each other on the same alignment. We agree.

17.421 However, we did ask for further information about the relative environmental impacts of the two options. The first response from the Applicant concerning noise impacts at Heckford Street did not give us comparative information with the application as it had not considered mitigation measures (APP14, answer to Q14.9). The answer to our second written question on the possible mitigation measures for Heckford Street confirmed that significant effects would be experienced by households on Cable Street for ten months and Schoolhouse Lane for 21 months, traffic impacts would be significant on Schoolhouse Lane for 21 months and Pier Head School would have an exposure of 6dB above ambient for 15 months (APP59, answer to Q32.14).

17.422 The summary table given in answer to Q32.27 for a noise assessment appears to be flawed as it combines both options into one table and it isn’t clear which significant impact is from which alternative. However, it appears from the table that there would be approximately 84 households significantly affected at the façade with the ‘Heckford Street and Park option’ and 32 households significantly affected with the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore option (APP59, table 27.4).

17.423 We also considered the traffic implications of the two options. The Applicant advised us that the Heckford Street option would require 20,100 lorries as compared to the King Edward Memorial Park Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 375

Foreshore site which would use 10,750 lorries and 210 barges

339 (APP14, tables 9.1 and 9.3).

17.424 FTW Management Company pointed out that the Applicant’s traffic assessment had not allowed for the reduction in traffic currently generated by the use of the industrial estates at Heckford Street. The survey appended to that representation had assessed that in excess of 9,500 HGV 2-way journeys (movements) would be re-routed from Heckford Street with the results that the Applicant’s estimate of traffic is overestimated for the Heckford Street option (WRR040, para 27 and appendix C).

17.425 We have reviewed the traffic data before us, and note that the opportunity to use barging is not available with the Heckford Street and Park option. Traffic currently using the site would be displaced with the closure of Heckford Street Industrial Estate. Our view is that the comparisons of lorry numbers for the two site options should not attract any more than minimal weight.

17.426 The socio-economic comparison between the two options is also given in answer to Q14.9. Of particular note, the Applicant considered that the impact of the works in the Park for the Heckford Street and Park option would be ‘significant adverse’ with regard to the temporary reduction in the provision of open space and the amenity of users of the Park. Both the Council and SaveKEMP at the IS hearing stated that a site at the back of the park would have less impact than the proposed development on the foreshore at the front of the park.

17.427 Whilst we take account of these comments, in our view the Heckford Street and Park option would have some important impacts on the park. On our site inspections at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore we saw that this option would result in:

? loss of significant elements of the built heritage of the park – including part of the retaining wall and terrace, the grand steps leading up to the monument and the monument itself (non-designated heritage assets)

? loss of the central axis linking the monument, steps and listed air shaft

? loss of several substantial trees which are part of the landscape structure of the more formal part of the park

? noise and construction impacts that would be widely experienced within the park due to the central location of the work site.

17.428 The final point we sought to clarify was concerning the operational structures and impact on the park after completion. The Applicant confirmed that there would be an electrical control kiosk, ventilation columns and a small control pillar. Such works are

339 Lorry numbers as given by the Applicant. For lorry movements multiply by two

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Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 376

similar to that proposed within the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore proposal. The Applicant considers that the structures (valve chamber, interception chamber and drop shaft) would protrude beyond the line of the terraces and be visible above-ground level (APP59, para 18.1.6).

17.429 The sewer to be intercepted passes beneath the terrace at an angle. Whilst no detailed design is before us, it seems unlikely that the existing features could be reinstated without some degree of adverse impact from the permanent works.

17.430 We note that, if this option had been pursued, some improvements might have been expected as a result of design development. Even so, our overall assessment is that the impacts of the Heckford Street and Park option on King Edward Memorial Park would be of a similar order to those resulting from the application proposals.

17.431 In LB Tower Hamlets’ written representation on 3 March 2014, it summarised the history of the Council’s view of the current position as follows:

‘The assessment carried out by Thames Water concluded that the construction site at both Heckford Street and at KEMP would be significantly larger, and construction work more complicated and therefore lengthier than was envisaged during the original site selection review. As a result, since the applicant considered the adverse impacts of the council’s preferred option to be greater than originally predicted, in the applicant’s view, the advantages of the KEMPF were thus significantly greater.

It is at best, highly regrettable that this assessment was not carried’ out when originally ‘requested by the council, since this would have provided the opportunity and time for a technical assessment of the applicants revised proposals, which was clearly not possible within the timescale of the Hearing. However, as has been demonstrated by Thames Water in respect to the KEMPF site, detailed development work will often result in improvements to construction methodology and consequent reduced impacts both in terms of land take and adverse environmental impacts. In the council’s opinion it is therefore possible that, with further development work, the adverse impacts of the Heckford Street/Park could be significantly reduced’ (REP447, section 2).

17.432 Our view is that, while we agree with LB Tower Hamlets that in all probability the Heckford Street and Park option could be refined further, we consider that the Applicant’s proposal for use of King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore has been justified for the following reasons:

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 377

? the loss of park open space would not be avoided by the alternative proposal, albeit the foreshore would not be as affected

? the engineering construction of one tunnel running on top of (and in parallel with) another although feasible is not desirable

? the engineering solution of two sites is not efficient

? there would be noise impacts on a wider group of residents than would experience noise at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore. Therefore the noise impact would not have been avoided

? the use of Heckford Street would result in socio-economic impacts on businesses.

Direct CSO connection to tunnel

17.433 One of the options considered in the site selection report was a direct connection to the tunnel in the western area of the park (Doc 7.05, volume 19) with a direct drop shaft to a realigned tunnel. This would have used less area in the river frontage area of the park but would have used a greater area of the park itself, including the playground.

17.434 Notwithstanding our conclusions on the Heckford Street and Park option, we remain concerned about the impacts on the use of the park from loss of river frontage in the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore proposal. We therefore asked for more information regarding this alternative in ExA’s Q32.16 with information on the impacts on the park in Q32.19.

17.435 The Applicant’s answer confirmed that such an alternative would impact on the multi-use game area, tennis courts, children’s playground and park works area.

17.436 At the IS hearing (23 January 2014), LB Tower Hamlets and SaveKEMP confirmed their views that such a proposal would not offer any advantages over the foreshore site. We did not consider this alternative further.

Conclusion on King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore

17.437 Under the NPS paragraph 2.6.34, it is for the Applicant to justify the specific design and route of the project including any other options it has considered and ruled out.

17.438 Under NPS paragraph 4.9.9, the decision maker must consider whether the proposal meets the aim of avoiding significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from noise. In the case of the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore, our view is that the first aim of paragraph 4.9.9, in conjunction with the requirement to consider the location of the construction compounds (NPS, paragraph A1.3.9), leads us to consider whether significant impacts from noise and/or vibration could have been Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions

and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 378

avoided by use of one of the options which were ruled out by the Applicant.

17.439 We have assessed the use of King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore against two alternatives to satisfy ourselves that the specific design and route of the tunnel at this site is justified. We appreciate that the proposed site is a difficult site with respect to the impact on the community from loss of open space and amenity during construction. We are also mindful of the noise impacts on FTW (south) and Pier Head Prep School which would both experience significant effects for two years.

17.440 We are concerned about the reduction in amenity of the park in a borough with limited open space. Although physically a large area of the park would be unaffected we are concerned that the elevated noise levels and loss of river frontage during construction would reduce the public’s use of the park during the period of construction (over three years).

17.441 The NPS states that the decision maker should not grant consent for development on existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land unless an assessment has shown that the open space or the buildings and land are surplus to requirements or the decision maker determines that the benefits of the project outweigh the potential loss of such facilities. In making a judgement the decision maker should consider whether any adverse effect is temporary and whether any adverse impact on the landscape will be capable of being reversed in a timescale that the decision maker considers reasonable (NPS, para 4.8.13 to 4.8.14).

17.442 LB Tower Hamlets has an overall shortage of open space and this part of the Borough is particularly densely developed with many residents living in flats. Plainly, King Edward Memorial Park is not surplus to requirements. In chapter 11, under the heading ‘Open space, sport and recreation’, we conclude that the ES understates the likely effect on the community of the construction impacts on the park. We acknowledge that the s106 obligations would offer some useful mitigation but, even so, we consider that the use of part of King Edward Memorial Park would be a serious loss to the local community during construction. Although the s106 obligations would provide funding for the park to be reinstated following the works, the effects of construction would be experienced by the community for an extended period.

17.443 However we acknowledge that an alternative that would avoid the significant impacts and not create as great an impact elsewhere is not before us and not available. As such, we consider that in the case of this site, the Applicant has justified the design and route of the project in accordance with NPS paragraph 2.6.34.

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Examining authority’s Report of Findings and Conclusions and Recommendation to the Secretaries of State 379

17.444 However, we remain concerned about the significant impacts on the local community and we consider that should the Secretaries of State decide to approve the application then additional mitigation measures should be secured in the DCO for limits on Saturday working as requested by the Council and as discussed in chapters 11 and 12 and set out in chapter 20.


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