The River Thames Scheme will deliver the recommendations set out in the Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to manage flood risk from the River Thames between Datchet and Teddington.
The lower reaches of the River Thames between Datchet and Teddington have a long history of flooding. The area has already experienced two major floods this century, affecting many areas downstream of Datchet. This is the largest area of undefended developed floodplain in England.
The Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy, published in 2011, was developed after consultation with other public bodies, businesses and residents in 2009. The River Thames Scheme aims to reduce the risk of river flooding to 15,000 properties between Datchet and Teddington that currently have more than a 1% (1 in 100 ) annual chance of flooding.
The scheme will be carried out in two phases. Phase 1 includes:
- a hydrology and modelling study;
- ecological surveys of the River Thames and specific sites;
- installation of flood protection measures to individual properties at risk;
- major incident planning to improve preparedness and response to flooding;
- construction of enabling works;
- capacity increases to Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington weirs and the Desborough Cut;
- securing Government assurance and approvals;
- developing a funding strategy for the scheme;
- obtaining planning consents for the enabling works.
Phase 2 includes:
- the detailed engineering design for the flood channel;
- securing full, detailed planning permission and other consents for the flood channel;
- the building of the three sections of the flood diversion channel and associated structures.
Progress on property-level flood protection
Property-level protection (for example door barriers, non-return valves and airbrick covers) is being offered to residents along the River Thames who will not be fully protected by the flood channel and engineering works.
Between December 2012 and February 2013, we held drop-in events for residents in the boroughs of Richmond, Windsor and Maidenhead, Runnymede, Spelthorne and Elmbridge, so they could find out about the scheme and register their interest. To date, over 300 residents have confirmed their interest in taking part.
Over the past six months we have been carrying out property threshold surveys and have gone out to tender for an experienced surveyor and contractor.
JBA Consulting Ltd has been appointed to undertake detailed property surveys which will assess property type, characteristics of construction and routes of water ingress. This will enable them to recommend a package of suitable flood protection measures for each property.
How to request a survey of your property
During September 2013, we completed property surveys in Wraysbury, Hythe End and Staines-upon-Thames. Surveys are currently being carried out in Teddington and Kingston, and we are in the process of arranging survey dates for residents in Thames Ditton and East Molesey.
It is not too late to register! If you live in these areas and have received a letter from us but have not yet registered, please get in touch and we will book a survey for you. Please contact JBA Consulting on 01633 410021 or by email:
Residents from Weybridge, Shepperton, Sunbury and Chertsey who have registered an interest will be contacted in November 2013.
What happens after the survey
Following completion of your property survey, you will receive the following documents by post:
- A property assessment report containing a list of recommended flood protection products.
- A draft agreement which you will be asked to read and sign.
- An invitation to attend a drop-in meeting for you to discuss your report and agreement form with the project team.
We have appointed UK Flood Barriers and Whitehouse Construction Ltd to undertake the installation works, which will start in autumn 2013.
Other work in progress
- In April 2012, we began our three-year programme of ecological surveys. These are essential for us to understand the local environment and inform our outline designs of the flood channel. So far we have surveyed bird populations and monitored water levels.
- We are seeking the necessary internal approvals to begin outline designs of the flood channel and capacity improvements. We hope to start this process in spring 2014 and it could take three to four years to complete.
- We are appointing a specialist team of consultants and contractors who will help us with these outline designs.
- We are working with our partners in local authorities to secure £136 million from central government and to find ways to fund the remainder of the River Thames Scheme.
At this stage the exact timings to carry out the River Thames Scheme are uncertain. However, our aim is to start the capacity improvements to the Thames weirs within three years and the construction of the channel within six years. The construction period for the flood channel could be five to six years.
Following changes to the way flood defence funding is allocated, we currently have a significant shortfall for delivering all of the scheme. We are progressing Phase 1 with support from the local levy, and we are working with partners to bridge the funding gap, by identifying various sources of contributions.
Working in partnership is key to the success of the River Thames Scheme, and we will continue to explore all avenues of funding to complete the project.
If you have any questions about the River Thames Scheme, please contact us:
This page was updated on 22 October 2013.