It’s Flood Action Week, so it’s time for Surrey residents who live near rivers or other watercourses, or who can be impacted by surface water or groundwater flooding, to be prepared in case of severe weather over the winter months.
With 13 flood alerts currently in place in Surrey making sure you’re aware of your home’s flood risk and getting prepared in case of flooding is especially important. Ensuring any watercourses you’re responsible for are kept running freely could also help protect your home and those around you.
Flooding risk is increasing due to climate change, and it’s important to help communities to become more resilient to extreme weather and rising sea levels. Taking steps to prepare for flooding can reduce the costs of damage to a home by around 40%, as well as reducing the impact on the wellbeing of victims.
Check the risk and be prepared
Residents are advised to check their home’s flood risk by visiting check long-term flood risk.gov.uk or calling the Floodline on 0345 988 1188. There is also the opportunity to register for flood alerts and warnings.
If there is a risk of flooding, there’s advice on how to be prepared at Flooding advice – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk)
If you, or someone you know, is vulnerable, requires additional assistance or has additional communication needs then you can sign up to the Priority Services Register by contacting your utility providers. It is free and can help you or a loved one to stay safe, warm and independent at home.
Minimise the chances of flooding
Residents who own land next to watercourses like ditches, streams or brooks are ‘riparian landowners’ – this means that they are responsible for keeping these watercourses clear, even though they may seem to be beyond their boundary or run through a piped section.
Over the autumn, leaves and branches fall and silt builds up. Keeping ditches and other watercourses clear could help prevent homes from flooding later in the winter.
Visit Flooding advice – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk) for more information.
River Thames Scheme
At the same time, the River Thames Scheme (RTS) is launching a six-week consultation for people to have their say on new plans which respond to the challenges of flooding and creating more access to open green spaces and sustainable travel routes.
The scheme, which includes a new flood channel, will reduce the risk of flooding to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, while also providing habitat for wildlife and a new feature in the landscape for recreation. The channel will be flanked by new areas of public green open space, for recreation and spending time with nature. New footpaths and cycleways will run along the channel and through the new public spaces, linking different elements of the scheme with communities and providing better connections within and across the area. Areas of new and improved habitat for wildlife and nature recovery will connect with existing nature sites and wildlife corridors to provide a new nature recovery network along the length of the channel that supports even more biodiversity.
The plans which will be going on display include:
- A new river channel built in two sections – one section through Runnymede (between Egham Hythe and Chertsey) and one through Spelthorne (between Littleton North lake and the Desborough Cut)
- Capacity increases around the Desborough Cut and the weirs at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington
- Improved access to quality green open space and connections with wildlife, in addition to supporting a more sustainable travel network
- A network of high-quality habitat to achieve a biodiversity net gain
The consultation will run from Tuesday 8 November until Tuesday 20 December 2022 with the new plans taking into account feedback from a previous consultation in 2016.
The consultation will provide updated details of the planned work and timelines, including some important changes to the design.
The team will be hosting a number of exhibitions where people can learn more about the changes, study plans and drawings, watch a video of the proposals and submit comments.
The exhibitions will be drop in events and will take place as follows:
|Staines||Tuesday 8th November 2022||The Hythe Centre, 36 Thorpe Rd, Staines-upon-Thames, Egham TW18 3HD *||1-7pm|
|Sunbury-on-Thames||Wednesday 16th November 2022||Hazelwood Centre, Hazelwood Dr, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 6QU||1-7pm|
|Molesey||Saturday 19th November 2022||The Molesey Centre for the Community, 2 Bishop Fox Way, Molesey, West Molesey KT8 2AS||12-6pm|
|Egham||Tuesday 22nd November 2022||The Easter Centre, Manor Farm Ln, Egham TW20 9HL||1-7pm|
|Walton-on-Thames||Wednesday 23rd November 2022||St Johns Parish Church, The Furrows, Walton-on-Thames KT12 3JQ||1-7pm|
|Wraysbury||Friday 25th November 2022||Wraysbury Village Hall, The Green, Wraysbury, Staines TW19 5NA||1-7pm|
|Kingston upon Thames||Saturday 26th November 2022||Richard Mayo Centre, Eden St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HZ||10-4pm|
|Teddington||Tuesday 29th November 2022||Peter and Paul Church (Centre), 4 Church Rd, Teddington TW11 8PB||1-7pm|
|Shepperton||Saturday 3rd December 2022||Shepperton Village Hall, 58A High St, Shepperton TW17 9AU||10-4pm|
|Chertsey||Wednesday 7th December 2022||St Peters Church, Windsor St, Chertsey KT16 8AT||1-7pm|
*Media are also invited to a preview event at this location from 09.30am. Further details are listed below.
There will also be several online webinars held on Microsoft Teams where a presentation will be given followed by questions from attendees. Places will be limited to ensure everyone attending can ask any questions they may have. Places will be issued on a first come, first served basis.
The online webinars will take place as follows:
|Thursday 10th November 2022||6-7:30pm|
|Saturday 12th November 2022||10-11:30am|
|Thursday 24th November 2022||6-7:30pm|
|Friday 18th November 2022 *||6-7:30pm|
|Monday 28th November 2022||1-2:30pm|
*This event will focus on what the scheme means to the island communities
Anyone interested in attending an online webinar can book a place by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
River Thames Scheme project director Jeanne Capey said:
“The River Thames Scheme represents a new landscape-based approach to creating healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities. It will not only reduce the risk of flooding to communities but also create new areas of green space and recreation, sustainable travel routes and new high-quality habitats. I would urge anyone interested in the scheme to visit one of our exhibitions or webinars to find out more about the proposals and feedback their thoughts to us.”
Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Community Resilience, Kevin Deanus said:
“The River Thames Scheme is a Nationally Significant project which will change the landscape of Surrey and bring about much needed flood relief for our communities, as well as dramatically improve access to open green spaces and improve biodiversity. I welcome this consultation and would encourage people to get involved and feedback their thoughts on these exciting proposals.”
Full details of the consultation events, how to get involved, and discover all venues that have brochures available to pick up please visit the website at www.riverthamesscheme.org.uk or call the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre on: 03708 506 506.
River Thames Scheme Public Consultation Media Preview Invitation
Ahead of the launch of the consultation members of the press are invited to attend a preview of the consultation and opportunity to view the consultation material, speak with River Thames Scheme specialists and ask any questions you may have. This session will be a drop in event and will be held at the Hythe Centre, Staines -upon-Thames between 9.30am-11am on Tuesday 8th November.
Please confirm your attendance at the event to Victoria.Shepherd@surreycc.gov.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- For more information and interviews please contact Vicky Shepherd at Victoria.email@example.com
- The River Thames Scheme is being delivered in partnership between the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council.
- The scheme’s wider partners are Elmbridge Borough Council, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Runnymede Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Thames Water, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
- The River Thames Scheme will reduce flood risk to people living and working near the Thames, enhance the resilience of nationally important infrastructure, contribute to a vibrant local economy and maximise the social and environmental value of the river.
- There have been serious floods in this area over the past 100 years, namely in 1947, 1968, 2003 and most recently between 2013/2014.
- The new flood channel will reduce flood risk to over 11,000 properties and 1,600 businesses in Hythe End, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Shepperton, Weybridge, Sunbury, Molesey, Thames Ditton, Kingston and Teddington.
- There will be increased capacity of the Desborough Cut and weirs at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington by installing additional weir gates.
- Detailed planning and design under way. The large scale of the project means the government has directed that it be treated as a project of national Significance. This requires a type of consent known as ‘development consent order’ (DCO). A DCO removes the need to obtain several separate consents, including planning permission and is designed to be a quicker process than applying for these separately. The DCO must be granted before full funding is approved and construction can begin.