High Court appeal against Thames Water power station lodged by Ken Livingstone dropped by new mayor

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has approved Thames Water’s plans to build a £200m desalination plant at Beckton, East London.

Johnson drops objection to London desalination plant

The former mayor Ken Livingstone had appealed against the building of the plant to the High Court, arguing that it was too energy-intensive and that Thames Water should spend the money assigned for the plant on fixing its existing system.

But Johnson has dropped the legal challenge after agreeing a package of environmental measures with the water provider. These include using heat and waste energy from the proposed plant to provide heating and water for nearby homes, and setting up pilot projects to reduce the number of traffic closures due to mains replacement works. The generator that will run the plant will be powered with 100% renewable fuel.

The government approved plans for the Barking Power Station in August last year. When completed, it will allow the use of desalination technology to provide drinking water for Londoners in the event of droughts or clean water shortages.

Johnson said: 'We cannot risk London running out of water at times of drought, but this cannot be at any cost. Thames Water has satisfied me that the desalination plant will minimize its impact on the environment by using renewable energy, and by being used only when absolutely necessary. This is a good deal for Londoners.”'