The historic filter beds at Seething Wells are at a crossroads. They were built 170 years ago to provide clean water as London responded to a health emergency that killed thousands – cholera. The site is unique: a designated site of nature conservation, with many historic features. But it is being destroyed by the current owners who have been very poor guardians of its heritage and ecology. Unless action is taken now it will fall into a state where it is no longer viable as a nature reserve or a reminder of Victorian Londoners’ ingenuity in fighting worldwide disease.
The site in Surbiton has been neglected for the past 20 years or more. Despite the owners losing 2 Appeals they have recently completely stripped all the vegetation – destroying all the wildlife and flora and fauna that has made it their home. Local residents, our Society and our MP – Sir Ed Davey – are all seething mad (pun intended) about their actions. The owners are now seeking to persuade the Council that they want to use it for industrial storage purposes, arguing that they don’t need Planning Permission as that’s what the site was used for in Victorian times.
A local action group (http://saveseethingwells.org) has been set up and we intend to join forces with them and all those opposing this scandalous state of affairs. You can sign the Change.org petition here: https://www.change.org/p/rbk-council-save-seething-wells-filter-beds