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23/05/06
Mayor Blocks Extra Water Scheme
- East London desalination plant not the way to go for Livingstone

Mayor Blocks Extra Water SchemeKEN LIVINGSTONE has blocked a plan that could stop future droughts in London.

The London Mayor has denied planning permission for Thames Water to build a desalination plant in Beckton, east London, citing environmental concerns.

The plant, costed at UKP200 million, is planned to supply enough water for nearly half a million homes in London, enough to cover years of low rainfall. If Thames Water wins its appeal against the Mayor’s decision, the plant would be ready by 2009.

“We have looked hard at all the options and the only way to bridge this gap quickly is with this desalination plant," said Richard Aylard, Thames Water environment director.

Livingstone disagrees. Apart from the environmental impact – the plant would produce gases associated with global warming – the mayor thinks Thames Water should concentrate on improving its record on leaks from the current water pipe system.

The issue will now be dealt with by a public inquiry.



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