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The Jubilee River story (0700) - The £300m LTFRMS* proposal

(* - Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy now called LTFAS)

IS THIS COMMON SENSE FLOOD DEFENCE?

The EA re-presented the LTFRMS proposals at three exhibitions in Wraysbury, Egham and Molesey - November/December 2011.

There was no presentation at Datchet, and there was also a lack of publicity.

There was little physical change to the material plans, but a significant proportion of the funding now has to be raised from local and private sources.  This point had been made clear in the House of Commons on 23 November when the PAC quizzed Dr Leinster.

The BBC has reported that the funding cuts will delay the project.

The EA appears to have purchased a property on Chertsey Lane where the channel will exit from the Thames.

The EA apparently renamed the project LTFAS in early 2012

The MWEFAS hydraulic models were flawed:  The 1992 PI - Report - 'it would be very embarrassing to all concerned    '

There were three LTFRMS exhibitions - Nov/Dec 2011

View EA leaflet

View my leaflet

View 'For and against the LTFRMS'

Public Accounts Committee quizzes Dr Leinster

Below is the document that I distributed at the EA exhibitions with some additional links -

Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy

IS THIS COMMON SENSE FLOOD DEFENCE?

I have no confidence in these proposals or the ability of the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of flooding using such complex and expensive engineering solutions!

Some facts about the Jubilee River:

Hydraulic model deficiency first identified at 1992 Public Inquiry

Cost - about £110m

Seven years to build (1995-2002)

£5m in repairs after first use in 2003

£2.75m settlement for substandard design and construction plus [Environment Agency v. Lewin Fryer & Partners]

Jubilee River channel and structures are currently degrading fast.

You can see Dr Paul Leinster (EA CEO) being quizzed by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=9501

For six weeks I attended the Public Inquiry into the MWEFAS project in 1992. 

In my opinion the £300m LTFRMS proposal is just history repeating itself, and worse still the EA is unwilling and /or unable to learn from its mistakes.

The River Thames suffering from benign neglect due to lack of dredging.  The bed is rising with a consequential and significant reduction in conveyance capacity.

Some facts about the River Thames:

Radioactive waste discharged into the Thames (from Aldermaston) for fifty years.

River Thames not dredged for flood defence purposes since 1995.

Sediment now classed as hazardous liquid waste.

No facilities for dredging treatment or disposal.

I urge you to check the EA web site maps for all types of flooding in your area.  The insurance companies are using the information supplied by the EA to increase both premiums and excess.  The situation is already difficult, but when the current agreement (about insurance availability) between the Government and the ABI runs out in 2013, things could get worse!

My final point is that you ensure that the gutters on your house are clean and working properly.  The local Council keeps the highway drains clean so that the roads don’t flood, but in contrast the EA (with responsibility for main river flooding) deliberately ignores the Thames, preferring instead to propose extravagant new projects for enhanced reputation and kudos.

27/11/2011 Published and printed by Ewan Larcombe, 67 Lawn Close, Datchet SL3 9LA

National Flood Prevention Party    Tel 01753 544302   www.jubileeriver.co.uk

 

Below is a response to the LTFRMS exhibition from Donald Longmore .......

 

 
From: D Longmore
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 11:35 AM
Subject: flooding
 
This in response to a Lower Thames Strategy public exhibition from professor Donald Longmore OBE FRCS FRCR of Chertsey Lane TW18 3LQ.
I am a riparian owner and have lived in my Thames side house for 52 years and have always been involved with the river.
The public exhibition only served to convince most of those present that there are systemic problems in the Environment Agency (EA) because
MOST of the people representing the EA did not know what they were talking about.
With the exception of one engineer hey had two misconceptions:-
a) They believe that the river is self cleaning. It is not and this reach is on average about 1 meter shallower than it was in 1960 therefore its capacity at a flow rate of just 3 knots is reduced by about 900 cubic meters / minute. I appreciate that this extra capacity would not have been sufficient to the accommodate additional flow from the Jubilee River, however a properly maintained river would cause less flooding. There are now so many different excuses given for failing to dredge the river that none are credible. The latest reason given is that there is a “health and safety issue” because of radioactivity in the mud. Previously we were told that there was a European Directive and before that we were told that the Thames Conservancy “overdredged” the river and now the molluscs are used as a reason.
b) They still believe that the Jubilee River would only raise the level downstream by 35 centimetres. The hydrographic study on which this figure is based is unsound calculations and the facts prove so. I have had the sums checked by colleagues at Imperial College who find them laughable.
It would be wiser not to expose the EA representatives to public scrutiny while they are so ill informed. It also creates a bad impression that there are so many staff.
THE REAL ISSUE IS THAT THERE ARE NO PLANS TO DEAL WITH POTENTIAL FLOODING BEFORE 2017 AND THEN THERE WILL BE POSSIBLE FURTHER DELAYS TO STARTING THE RELIEF SCHEME. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. SHORTAGE OF FUNDS DOES NOT SEEM TO BE A VALID REASON FOR DELAY. [PLEASE NOTE THAT A MAJOR SCHEME IS UNDER WAY TO REMOVE THE HISTORIC STEPS BETWEEN PENTON HOOK LOCK AND BELL WEIR. THE MONEY WASTED ON THIS SCHEME WHICH HAS MATERIALLY DAMAGED THE APPEARANCE, WILD LIFE, AMENITIES AND SAFETY OF THIS STRETCH OF THE RIVER. WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER USED FOR FLOOD PREVENTION.
THERE SHOULD BE NO MORE BUILDING IN AREAS WHERE THE RIVER IS EFFECTIVELY SEVERELY RESTRICTED. CHERTSEY BRIDGE IS AN OBSTRUCTION TO FLOW; WHY THEREFORE HAS A MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT BEEN ALLOWED BESIDE THE BRIDGE?
 

Below is one of the BBC reports

BBC News England

Cuts delay £300m River Thames flood protection

The River Thames flooded at nearby Richmond in March 2010 The River Thames burst its banks at nearby Richmond in March 2010, flooding roads in the area

Related Stories

Work to protect 15,000 homes in the Lower Thames area from flooding has been delayed by government funding cuts, residents have been told.

Properties, from Datchet in Berkshire, through Surrey to Teddington in west London were at "significant" risk, the Environment Agency (EA) said.

But it said it only has 55% of funding for the £300m flood protection scheme.

In 2010, the government backed the work but said funding for it should be shared with local authorities.

Kathleen Croft, whose home has flooded three times since 2000, said it was very worrying.

'House rebuilt'

"It was absolutely terrifying," Ms Croft, who runs Paws Boarding Cattery in Stanwell Moor, said.

"My business was put out of action for a month and I had to live in one room for five months while the entire house was rebuilt.

"It cost the insurance company £100,000."

The EA has held three public exhibitions this week, at Wraysbury, Staines and West Molesey, to explain the progress of the flood protection scheme.

It includes building three flood diversion channels, improving existing river weirs and providing localised protection for some homes.

The scheme was approved by the EA in November 2010 and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in July this year.

Expenditure reduction

But the government's Comprehensive Spending review last year said the cost would have to be shared with local authorities through "partnership funding".

Public meetings were last held during a consultation period in 2009.

"When we consulted the public back in 2009 we were fairly confident that the funding would be made available," said EA spokesman Barry Russell.

"Now with the changes in government funding we had our capital expenditure reduced by 27%.

"Also, the government has brought in partnership funding so we are now looking to develop the partnerships that will secure the money needed."

The original proposals dating from 2009 are shown below:

The Environment Agency’s LTFRMS proposal includes spending some £300m of public money building three flood diversion channels (Reach 3 route), improving some existing  river weir structures, providing some localised protection for groups of houses and a range of other ways of managing the floodplain.

Extract from the LTFRMS Environment Agency Consultation response document (July 2010)

Lower Thames Strategy Response: Bathymetric surveys of the river bed have been

carried out over the past few years and have provided evidence of the dynamic erosion

and deposition of sediment within the River Thames. These bathymetric surveys have

shown that historical dredging only increases channel capacity temporarily as the River

Thames silts up again and this is before climate change is taken into account. Dredging

does not provide sufficient capacity to reduce flood flows due to the huge volume of water

that occurs during a flood. Due to the difficulties and expense of removing and disposing

of contaminated dredged material from the River it [dredging] has been set aside as an option under

this Strategy. Bathymetric surveys and modelling will continue to inform our River

management.

 

The EA LTFRMS consultation response document may be found here on this site - LTS Consultation Responses (295kB.pdf)

Source document: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/LTS_Consultation_Response_Document(1).pdf

Also please see related item The Penton Hook consultation (June 2010)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

- Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy Consultation - (closed 18 December 2009) -

The Environment Agency published the Lower Thames Strategy Consultation (September 2009).  Unfortunately the Jubilee River further upstream (the main element of the £110m MWEFAS project that opened in 2002) is still unable to carry its design capacity (215 cumecs).  Design and construction failures resulted in £5m repair costs and a £2.5m out-of-court settlement.  The Myrke Embankment in Datchet is rapidly degrading yet again despite a £1.3m rebuild in 2004, and local watercourses are in desperate need of maintenance.  For over ten years the River Thames has not been dredged for flood defence purposes.  I have no confidence that the Environment Agency will maintain the water courses that they are responsible for........

My view is that in order to properly understand the Environment Agency LTFRMS proposal it is preferable to be aware of the history and consequences of the MWEFAS project (renamed Jubilee River in 2002).

Detailed Environment Agency LTFRMS consultation document (15 pages - 2Mb.pdf)

'For and against' the LTFRMS

LTFRMS - Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy Consultation

(Three new channels - Datchet to Teddington - cost £300m)

This consultation closed 18 December 2009.

 

Links to Environment Agency consultation document

Lower Thames Strategy

Chapter 1: Introduction

You are at risk of flooding

Land and property near the River Thames has suffered from serious flooding for many years. In January 2003, heavy rain brought flooding to many areas of the River Thames downstream of Datchet. We listened to public concern that more should be done to address the issue of flooding and have come up with a plan to reduce flood risk in your area.

We have produced a draft Flood Risk Management (FRM) strategy for the Lower Thames from Datchet to Teddington. It sets out our preferred option for managing the risk of flooding in the area in the future. We would like to suggest a combined approach to reduce the risk of flooding. This document presents the studies we have carried out, the options we have considered and explains how we have arrived at our preferred option.

We are working with and involving people and communities that have experienced flooding or are at risk of flooding in this area. We would like to share the findings of our studies with you, so that you can tell us what you think. We welcome your views and comments, and we will take them into account in our final strategy for Government approval in 2010.

 

Lower Thames Strategy area
Lower Thames Strategy area (Popup full image) 

'For and against' the LTFRMS

Map - Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury - proposed LTFRMS channel route - Sept 2009 (4.67mB.pdf)

Extended consultation for Lower Thames flood plan
Tuesday, 01 December 2009
 

The Environment Agency has extended the deadline for responses to its Lower Thames Strategy consultation for a further two weeks, until 18 December.

The Agency said that the extension was as a result of much interest from local residents and community groups.

To date more than 2,000 people have attended the public exhibitions held across the Lower Thames area since October to find out what the flood plans, which aim to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 15,000 homes and businesses along the Lower Thames,mean to them and to make comments that will help finalise the strategy.  Residents, local groups and business owners are still being urged to register their opinions on the website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/lts.

Innes Jones, Area Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

“We have had a fantastic response so far, and it is great to see a large number of local people taking an interest in their community and giving us such valuable feedback. All responses from the community are taken on board and will help to finalise the strategy before we submit it to Defra.

“Each option in the consultation has been assessed against a range of economic, environmental and social factors to ensure the best solution for everyone. I hope that those who have not managed to comment will take this extra opportunity to visit our website, email or put their views in writing and tell us what they think. This strategy will play a major role in addressing the concerns of the thousands of people who live with the risk of flooding.”

Currently 15,000 residential properties within the Lower Thames floodplain from Datchet to Teddington are at risk of flooding from the River Thames in a 1% annual chance event.

The Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy will tackle the risk of flooding to these properties within this area - one of the areas of highest flood risk in England.

The Environment Agency’s recommendations include building three flood diversion channels, improving some existing  river weir structures, providing some localised protection for groups of houses and a range of other ways of managing the floodplain.The public consultation documents are available in public libraries and local authority offices, or on the Lower Thames Strategy webpage.The strategy is available for consultation online at www.environment-agency.gov.ul/lts until 18 December.  Comments sent to lts@environment-agency.gov.uk will also be taken into consideration, together with written comments sent to the project team at Swift House, Frimley Business Park, Camberley, Surrey, GU16 7SQ.

(from 'Waterbriefing')
 

25/12/09 - Response to LTFRMS Consultation from Spelthorne

16/12/09 - Response to LTFRMS Consultation from G Bolton

15/12/09 - Response to the Consultation document on the Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy (msWord 55Kb)

List of Datchet Parish Council objections to MWEFAS - May 1992 (word processed)

List of Datchet Parish Council objections to MWEFAS - first published May 1992

'It would be very embarrassing to all concerned..........'(1992 MWEFAS Public Inquiry extract)

Cost-reduction commenced as MWEFAS construction contracts were placed

15/6/06 - EA sues designers of failed JR flood defence (NCE)

7/5/08 - 'A monument to skills shortage' (Prof Knight)

'For and against' the LTFRMS

LTFRMS CONSULTATION DOCUMENT (closes 4 December 2009)

MAP - Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury - proposed channel route - Sept 2009 (High resolution 4.67mB.pdf)

The Environment Agency has published the Lower Thames Strategy Consultation (September 2009)

This consultation closed 18 December 2009.

Unfortunately the Jubilee River (the main element of the £110m MWEFAS project opened in 2002) is still unable to carry its design capacity (215 cumecs).  The Myrke Embankment in Datchet is rapidly degrading yet again despite a £1.3m rebuild in 2004, and local watercourses are in desperate need of maintenance.  For over ten years the River Thames has not been dredged for flood defence purposes.

“We know the Jubilee River works, there is no question about it. Nonetheless, the Atkins reviews do raise important concerns that the Environment Agency is addressing with urgency.” (Chris Birks - EA Thames region director - August 2004)

Cost-reduction commenced as MWEFAS construction contracts were placed

18/11/09 - Parish Councillor resigns over flood relief channel

7/11/09 - Flood Monitoring Report to RBWM (2.7Mb.pdf)

4/11/09 - Notes of EA LTFRMS consultation meeting 23/10/09 (Ian Thompson)

1/11/09 - Jubilee River - Myrke bend radius problem (EA cannot hide this one!!)

28/10/09 - e-mail ref Datchet and Wraysbury LTFRMS exhibition attendance

21/10/09 - Notes from EA Public Consultation held in Staines on 1st October 2009 (Ian Thompson)

14/10/09 - Datchet Parish Council leaflet - EA public meeting - 23/10/2009 (299Kb.pdf)

EA agrees £2.75m 'out of court' settlement for substandard MWEFAS design

10/10/09 - 'The Thames is just a drain'

7/10/09 - Environment Agency unveils plans for £300M Thames flood defence scheme (NCE)

5/10/09 - LTFRMS - Complete EA Environmental Report (3.4mB.jpg)

3/10/09 - Lack of Thames dredging (e-mail from H Purchase)

2/10/09 - Letter from Cllr C Rayner (RBWM) requesting LTFRMS responses

List of Datchet Parish Council objections to MWEFAS (now called Jubilee River) first published May 1992

Map of current proposal for Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury channel route Sept 2009 (High resolution 4.67mB.pdf)

'For and against' the LTFRMS

25/9/09 - LTFRMS - '£300m scheme' and 'Deja vu' (Express)

25/9/09 - e-mail about LTFRMS from Mr and Mrs Packham to Mr Clasper (Datchet PC)

25/9/09 - Joy as flood defence plan is revealed (Staines and Egham News)

Current proposal for Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury channel route (My map - Sept 2009)

30/8/09 - Technical paper on Lower Thames Strategy dredging (Conference - Reno USA - 2006)(214 Kb)

30/7/09 - Changing the way we engage... (EA)

25/7/2009 - EA fails to maintain Myrke Ditch and flood bank

Map of previously proposed Datchet/Horton/Wraysbury channel routes (Nov 2006)

Current proposal for Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury channel route (EA map - Sept 2009)

Detailed Environment Agency LTFRMS consultation document (15 pages - 2Mb.pdf)

 

September 2009 - Lower Thames Strategy announced (with meeting dates and venues)

The Environment Agency is now distributing the following leaflet (received 21/9/2009)

Below is the EA proposed Reach 3 flood diversion channel route

through Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury (sorry about the picture quality)

Below is my version of the proposed Reach 3 flood diversion channel route (Sept 2009)

through Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury

Detailed Environment Agency LTFRMS consultation document (15 pages - 2Mb.pdf)

Previous page - 090921 - Lower Thames Strategy

Jubilee River extension (LTFRMS) consultation published - September 2009

LTFRMS Consultation