SW outlined the proposal for permission to install multiple marine works within Deptford Creek to facilitate barge movements associated with the construction of the Thames Tideway sewage pipeline. The public benefit of the work includes the fact there would be just 2 barge movements per day compared with hundreds of HGV movements. There is no long term ecological or heritage asset damage predicted. It was noted that Greenwich Council had already given consent to the works on their side of the creek.
CK noted that she was aware of 7 residential barges on the creek, and questioned the impact upon them. SW stated that this had been raised by an objector, and the proposal would have no impact on these barges, and navigational rights would not be affected.
CK raised further concern with regard to the residential barges, and asked whether there was a danger they could be capsized by the works, and whether any conditions could protect them.
CM stated he was concerned with the ecological impacts and raised specific concern regarding the impact on birds such as kingfishers. SW replied that she couldn’t answer specifics regarding the ecological impacts, but that the Environment Agency and the Council’s Ecological Regeneration manager had been consulted and were happy with the proposed mitigation measures.
CC asked why there was a need to re-silt the river bed after the works had been completed. SW replied that this was to reinstate the river bed back to its natural condition and to reinstate the ecology that would be lost due to dredging.
CFJ sought confirmation that the creek would be restored, and that no spoil would be left as a result when works have been completed. SW clarified that it would be highly unlikely to be left in a poor condition, considering the amount of statutory bodies involved in regulating the works.
The applicant, a representative of CVB who would carry out the works, and a representative of Thames Tideway took to the table to make their case in support of the proposal.
Firstly they stated that no one lives on the barges stored closest to the application site, and claimed they have been empty since 2007. Tideway have engaged with the owners of the vessels and they have been re-located. The closest barges being lived on are 100m from the dredging site.
They also clarified that kingfishers will not be affected, as the dredging would be over a short time-frame, and only the silt would be impacted. There is also a Construction Ecology Management Plan as a part of the wider Tideway works.
They also stated that as part of the works a lot of refuse had already been cleared from the creek, and other regulatory bodies are very strict about leaving things behind.
CK stated that the site is in her ward, and asked whether the tow-path on Lewisham’s side would be retained or reinstated, as access has recently been lost. The applicant replied that there would be no impact on the Lewisham bank side.
CC questioned whether any pollution could be brought up by the dredging works. The applicant replied that there will be constant monitoring for contamination whilst works are being carried out, and there are processes in place if contamination is detected.
Councillor Rathbone moved to accept the officer’s recommendation and approve the application for planning permission, including the additional conditions suggested by officers. This was seconded by Councillor Kelleher.
Members voted as follows:
FOR RECOMMENDATION: Councillors Clarke (Chair), Copley (vice-chair), Bourne, Anwar, Johnston-Franklin, Kelleher, Muldoon, and Rathbone.
AGAINST RECOMMENDATION: None
RESOLVED: Unanimously accept officer’s recommendation and grant planning permission.
Meeting closed at 21:30