Developing the River Thames Scheme

The Environment Agency has just released the latest update on the River Thames Scheme that will reduce flood risk from Datchet to Teddington.

The River between Datchet and Teddington has the largest area of developed floodplain in England without flood defenses.

Over 15,000 homes and businesses within the area are at risk from flooding.



The scheme consists of:

  • large-scale engineering work to construct a new flood channel between 30 to 60 meters wide and 14 kilometers long, built in 3 sections: Datchet to Hythe End flood channel; Egham Hythe to Chertsey flood channel; Laleham to Shepperton flood channel.
  • improvements to 3 of the existing weirs on the River Thames.
  • improved flood incident response plans.
  • creation of over 40 hectares of biodiversity action plan habitat.
  • working with communities to raise flood awareness and support them in flood preparedness, response and recovery.
  • providing community resilience measures to homes and communities to make them more resistant to flooding.

According to the EA, the scheme, once in place, will save local communities, businesses and critical infrastructure £2.3 billion in damages – a return on investment of £5 for every £1 invested in the scheme. The scheme is now estimated to cost £476 million for the design and construction phase.

If all goes according to schedule, the Environment Agency anticipates that the contract award and beginning of the works in 2020/21.

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