THAMES Water is extending the public consultation on its proposed 'super sewer' project, which would affect the Barn Elms sports fields in Barnes.
Following complaints from councillors, MPs and the public about the lack of information on the scheme, the company has agreed to extend the 14-week consultation period by one month to enable more people to have their say.
The utility firm plans to build a 20-mile tunnel under the capital, which it says will prevent untreated sewage from overflowing into the Thames during heavy rain.
It is proposing to use the southern part of the Barn Elms Sports Centre playing fields for a work site for the construction of the main tunnel.
Richmond Council leader Nick True said: "This is a hugely important project, but it has the potential to have a massive negative impact on people living close to the site.
"For this reason, we need a credible public consultation and to date we have not had this. One of our many concerns is the removal of thousands of tonnes of waste from tunnelling works. Thames Water has indicated the majority of this will be carried out by river.
"However we know from previous experience that when similar undertakings were given for the Olympic sites, the vast majority of the waste was removed by road.
"If the majority of waste from the works were to be removed by road in the Barnes area, we believe the impact on local people would be completely intolerable."
The project involves running a pipe the size of a Channel Tunnel bore at a depth of up to 245ft to Beckton Sewage Works in Newham. Work on the £3.6billion scheme is expected to take seven years.
Phil Stride, head of London Tideway Tunnels at Thames Water, said: "To find the least disruptive and most cost-effective route and sites we need to listen very carefully to everybody's views. Feedback indicates some people have only recently become aware of the consultation.
"That's why we've decided to give people more time to get their comments in to us.
"No final decisions have been taken yet. We are following up new information which has been provided by local people and will carefully consider all comments and suggestions.
"Where possible, we will amend our plans. These revisions will form the basis of the second phase of public consultation, which will take place next year."
The new closing date for comments is 5pm on Friday, January 14. For more information, visit www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk .