Thames Water fined £30K for leaving huge hole outside homes – South London News
By Jacob Phillips, Local Democracy Reporter
Thames Water has been fined £30,000 for leaving a huge hole outside residents’ homes.
The water company was taken to the City of London Magistrates Court by Kensington and Chelsea council on Thursday for leaving two large holes open in the borough.
Thames Water failed to put barriers across an entrance to a block of flats in Edge Street, Notting Hill on December 15, 2021.
It also didn’t put any warnings in place and residents could have stepped out into the open excavation.
Tools and equipment were also left unguarded on the public highway.
Thames Water had not told all the residents in the building next to the Edge Street works that they would be working outside the property entrance.
There was no barrier put in to close off the building works and residents could have walked straight out of their homes into a huge hole.
A second similar incident took place in Bedford Gardens, Kensington. Thames Water was carrying out street works outside the entrance to another block of flats, and again failed to fully cordon off the area.
Residents could have fallen into the excavation and the footway had been closed, so passers-by were forced to walk in the road. Tools and equipment were again left unguarded.
Fining Thames Water, magistrate Gerard Dowler acknowledged aggravating factors in the Edge Street incident including the location being near a school, the works being directly outside of a property entrance and not all residents in the building being notified.
Thames Water was asked to pay £20,000 for the incident. The water company was fined a further £10,000 for leaving works exposed in Bedford Gardens.
On top of this they were asked to pay Kensington and Chelsea council £4,120.06 in legal costs and a £190 victim surcharge.
Kensington and Chelsea Councilor Cem Kemahli, in charge of planning, place and environment, said: “Unsafe street works put our residents at risk and we will not tolerate firms who fall short of the very clear safety standards.
“The rules are there for a reason and we will not hesitate to protect our communities by taking action again those who break them.”
Pictured top: Photographs of the Thames Water works which led to the fines (Picture: Kensington and Chelsea council)