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Plans for the  latest hydro scheme on the Thames have been approved.

The Teddington and Ham Hydro was approved at a Richmond Borough Council planning meeting despite opposition from more than 1,300 people who signed an online petition.

The scheme’s Managing Director Stephen Jarvis said: “This is a major step forward and means we are closer to making this a reality.

“It is now a real live project and a tribute to the many people who have worked hard to get this far over the past five or six years.”

Proposals include the installation of three archimedean screw turbines on  a section of the weir at Teddington Lock. 

Planning committee members approved the £4 million scheme -   the largest of its kind in the UK – by seven votes to two.

The project will now move forward to a detailed planning stage prior to a share issue to the local community.

The hydro scheme could be under way by 2017 and will provide 1.6 Gigawatt hours per year, enough to power 500-600 homes.

The meeting heard that the scheme was described as “well thought out” by Green Party peer Baroness Jenny Jones and had strong support in the community.

But it has also faced opposition from residents and businesses concerned about more noise and a flooding risk.

The nearby Lensbury Club venue had  threatened legal action claiming noise would spell an end to its summer wedding business.

Sue Conder,  who helped organise the online petition said the group wanted a scheme supported by the community and not a “white elephant” on the river for the next 20 years.

Mr Jarvis said: ”We hope to reassure those members of the local community who have their doubts about the project that their fears are unfounded.”

Link to Teddington and Ham Hydro Scheme website

Story dated Sept 21st 2015