Dame Helen Mirren against 'super sewer' plans

By Louise Saunders - 16 Mar 2011 22:27:0 GMT
Dame Helen Mirren against 'super sewer' plans

Dame Helen Mirren has joined a campaign against a ''super sewer'' being built over her local park in London.

The Oscar winning actress has backed the fight to save King Edward Vll Memorial Park in Wapping, East London, close to her £2 million home.

The park is under threat as Thames Water plans to construct a 20-mile long sewage tunnel, which would include a sewer access shaft inside the park.

Helen, who divides her time between the US and London, said: ''As a local resident I am aware how little green space there is in our area and hope that the beautiful King Edward VII Memorial Park Green continues to be a garden space for the many local people, who have nowhere else to enjoy a garden environment.''

The £3.6 billion tunnel is designed to collect 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage which overflows into the River Thames each year, which the present the Victorian sewer system cannot cope with.

Campaigners fear this could turn the park into 'a building site' for up to seven years with workers drilling through the park or concreting over grass to give access to lorries and cranes.

Helen has united with a group called SaveKEMP, who have collected 4,000 signatures against the proposals and are protesting outside of City Hall in the capital today (16.03.11).

Emma Dunsire, vice chairwoman of the SaveKEMP campaign, said: ''Dame Helen has been very, very sweet to us. Even though she was so busy with the Oscars she took time to read our letters and get back to us.''

Other celebrity supporters of SaveKEMP include comedian Lee Hurst and singer Kenny Lynch.

Plans for shafts and access points to build the tunnel have run into opposition at many points along its route.