Peter John, Labour leader of Southwark Council, spoke out against the government’s decision to permit the super sewer drive site at Chamber's Wharf, Southwark.
Councillor John, a barrister by background, said: "This is a ludicrous and evil decision by the Secretaries of State as the Planning Inspectorate clearly found that Chamber's Wharf was not a suitable drive site for this super sewer.
"I am appalled the secretaries of state have so utterly failed to take into account the significant impacts this super sewer work will have on the residents who live, work and go to school in this area, and gone against the Planning Inspectorate's own findings.”
He added: “We will continue to fight this decision and look at all our options including a judicial review, and ensure Thames Water is held to account along every step of the planning process and get the best possible outcome for our residents."
However, not everyone considers the Thames Tideway Tunnel to be the devil's work. Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of business lobby group London First, said: “The system we have currently does not have the capacity to cope with the existing population, let alone support a city growing by 100,000 people a year. An additional 600,000 properties will need to be built by 2030, and each of those homes will need at least one toilet – we need the Thames Tideway Tunnel.”
Nelson Ogunshakin, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy & Engineering, described it as “vital infrastructure”. He said: “London has been relying on Bazalgette’s legacy which has been put under increasing strain due to the rise in the capital’s population, and this new sewer promises to relieve the burden in the most effective way.”