Initial funding approved for £500m Thames flood relief scheme

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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The government have approved the outline business case for the £501m River Thames Scheme.

The major milestone for the flood alleviation scheme unlocks the first £60m of funding so that detailed design and planning work can begin.

The Environment Agency and Surrey County Council are leading the partnership which will deliver the project to reduce the flood risk for 11,000 homes  and 1,600 businesses along the river.

Floods Minister Rebecca Pow said: “As a vital part of the government’s record investment in flood risk management schemes across the country, the River Thames Scheme will provide  better protection for thousands of properties, including many which suffered the devastation  of flooding in 2014.

“In addition to providing £285m in funding, by treating the scheme as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project we aim to streamline the planning and authorisation process and  ensure that communities along the river can get the protection they need as quickly as  possible.”

The scheme will see two new flood relief channels constructed at  Runnymede and Spelthorne, together with capacity increases at Sunbury, Molesey and  Teddington weirs and the Desborough Cut.

The scheme’s wider benefits will include new  walking and cycle paths, parks and wildlife habitats.

Surrey County Council is supporting the scheme through the £270m Surrey Flood Alleviation Programme alongside other local authorities.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “This is great news for Surrey and its neighbours.

“The scheme means communities along the River Thames can look forward to a  brighter future knowing that Surrey County Council, the Environment Agency, their partners  and the project’s team of expert engineers are working hard to reduce the likelihood of their  homes and businesses flooding.”

Detailed planning and design work is starting and a development consent order must  be granted before full funding is approved and construction can begin.

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