What is the Green Infrastructure of the River Thames Scheme?

Responding to the challenges of flooding

The River Thames Scheme (RTS) is primarily a flood alleviation scheme looking to reduce the risk of flooding to 11,000 homes and 1,600 businesses between Egham and Teddington.

Led by Surrey County Council (SCC) and the Environment Agency (EA) this scheme will realise a major new piece of blue and green infrastructure, with each element working together to deliver benefits for communities.

What is the scheme?

The scheme approach is landscape-based, which means that while the scheme responds to the challenges of flooding it will do this while increasing green open spaces and sustainable active travel routes. The channel, built in two sections will be flanked by new areas of public green open space; where consideration is being given for recreation including accessible pathway networks, nature play spaces and sports fields in addition to supporting a more sustainable travel network, linking both sides of the river. This additional green open space will also be used to achieve a biodiversity net gain by creating a new ecological network of high-quality habitat – improving connections with wildlife.

As part of the Scheme development, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be produced. The EIA will look at the current environment along the route of the scheme and assess what impact construction and operation will have. It will look at ways to reduce any impact and how the scheme can improve the local environment.

The EIA will be documented in an Environmental Statement, which we will submit with the development consent to help inform the planning decision. The Environmental Statement will likely look at the impact of the Scheme on landscape; cultural heritage; ecology; noise; water environment; people; natural resources soils and geology; waste; traffic and transport and air quality.

The timeline on submitting the Development Consent Order (DCO) is late 2024.

The above work is ongoing and options on the green infrastructure will be shared for communities to feedback on during Statutory Consultation in early 2024.

How to get involved

Between now and Statutory Consultation, there are opportunities to learn more about the scheme. You can visit the River Thames Website, follow us on our social media channels for information on the scheme progression and updates on community events the team will be attending in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please email rts@environment-agency.gov.uk.

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