04:00PM, Saturday 29 May 2021
The Environment Agency (EA) has launched a consultation to improve flood resilience to 20,000 properties in the Thames Valley.
By 2023 through to 2025, the EA hopes to create a shortlist of potential works. If so, the idea is that beyond 2025, the agency will begin to draw up a detailed plan.
The plan is in its early stages and the EA has not yet established which of the several approaches it is considering will be most effective. The new scheme will work to complement existing community-level schemes, such as the Jubilee River, Cookham and Maidenhead embankments, and Marlow flood wall and embankments.
Joe Cuthbertson, environment agency flood risk manager said: “As well as investigating a range of approaches for flood reduction measures, the scheme is committed to ambitious improvements to the environment, habitat and biodiversity.
“To really make this scheme work for the Thames Valley we also need to understand what is important to communities and local businesses. I would urge all those who live, work and visit the Thames Valley to get involved in the consultation.”
According to its website, a scheme of this scale ‘can only succeed’ if the EA works in partnership across the catchment and ‘with the support of local communities’.
It will require funding from central government and is ‘likely to need funding’ from multiple partners and beneficiaries.
However, councillor Ewan Larcombe of National Flood Prevention Party (Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury) has expressed doubt that the scheme will get off the ground.
He said: “My guess is that if councils need to put money in for the scheme, it won’t happen.”
“We have been through this before. I have no confidence that they (the Environment Agency) are going to do any more or any better than they have in the past.”
Mr Cuthbertson said: “At this point it is too early to provide recommendations for any specific location, however any approaches that are taken forward as part of the scheme will complement the Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme.
“We are currently consulting on a full range of approaches as it is important that we gather the views of all those who live and work in the Thames Valley.”
The Thames Valley Flood Scheme consultation will run until August 20.
Details on how to take part in the consultation are at https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/thames/tvfs-home
Further information on the scheme is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/thames-valley-flood-scheme
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