By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to update flood defences on a stretch of the Thames have been approved despite concerns about tree felling and a footpath.
Greenwich council has approved plans to repair flood defences on Greenwich Peninsula in a series of works that will include updating the footpath along the banks of the Thames.
The project will see the existing flood defences at Morden Wharf being updated, which council officers described as being in a very poor condition.
The works will also see the width of the Thames Path expanded to 4.5 metres, and 11 willow trees removed and replaced by seven semi-mature ones.
Several residents questioned why the path couldn’t be expanded to six metres, as it is at other points of its route. The path is currently 1.5 metres wide at its thinnest point.
Labour councillor Majella Anning said at the meeting: “I accept that the officers and the developers have worked hard to increase the size of the path, but I don’t think it’s enough. This is about not just tomorrow, this is about the next 50 years. And we are all being encouraged, and it’s part of Greenwich council’s policy, to be more active.”
Edward Koops, senior development manager at LandsecU+I, said at the meeting that the developer had undertaken further work to respond to the concerns of councillors and residents since the last application was refused.
He added that the area around the path was a safeguarded wharf, meaning the Port of London Authority would object to additional land being built on to widen the path.
The updated flood defences were also carried out to allow Sivyer to use a jetty in the area to transport goods across the Thames by installing a set of conveyor belts.
Simon Sivyer, executive managing director at the Sivyer Group, said at the meeting the move would help the company to switch to water transport instead of using lorries to and from its site. Council officers said at the meeting that two barges a week would visit the site, equating to 200 tipper truck journeys.
Mr Sivyer said in response to the claims about dust coming from his company’s site that they had never received any negative comments from regulators.
The time for the repairs to the flood defences to be carried out, including the Thames Path and hoarding works, was planned to take up to three months.
Pictured top: The current state of the flood defences at Morden Wharf (Picture: NTR Planning/Greenwich Limited)
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