Amended 30/12/2017 You are here:
Jubilee River Home
Page > Jubilee River - key facts
The Jubilee River Story
- 0001 >
How to contact me >
Jubilee River guided tours
< PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE > INDEX > ARCHIVE
The Jubilee River story (0948x)
The River Thames Scheme - Draft Statement of
Inquiry examining the River Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington) planning application will probably take place in 2018
but I have no doubt that the EA (and the Government) will do their best
to avoid such an event.
anticipation I have raised a Draft Statement of Case as detailed below.
This SoC is being updated as new issues become apparent.
Draft Statement of Case @ 30th May 2015
(last updated 30/12/2017)
From Ewan Larcombe, 67 Lawn Close, Datchet SL3 9LA
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 01753 544302
Ref Planning Application Number ……………….and subsequent Inquiry
The River Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington) – i.e. The Environment
Agency proposal for three new channels, one widened channel and associated river works intended
to reduce the risk of fluvial flooding downstream of Windsor – total cost
£302m (2009) and now £478m (2016)
Born in 1950 I lived in Wraysbury (as did my parents and grandparents
before me) until 1970. As the eldest of seven children I am pleased to say
that many of my relatives still live there. After short periods of living in
Slough and Langley I moved with my family to Datchet in 1977.
I participated in the Horton Drain (Wraysbury) re-grading project in the
early 1980’s and submitted evidence on the Wraysbury Station railway bridge
collapse in the late 1980s.
On behalf of Datchet Parish Council I appeared at the six week Maidenhead Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation
Scheme Public Inquiry at Reading in 1992. I have detailed knowledge of
Grundon’s Pit issues on Staines Road, Wraysbury, the Wraysbury Station
railway bridge collapse (1988) and the 2006 Queen Mother
Reservoir pipe failure in Datchet. I have knowledge of the unauthorised
disposal of 4,000 tonnes of food waste at Kingsmead pit in Horton. With a
B.Sc. in Manufacturing Technology I am a long-serving member of the
Institution of Engineering and Technology (I.Eng MIET) and also the
Chartered Management Institute. I joined the British Hydrological Society in
I am on both Datchet and Wraysbury Parish Councils.
In my opinion flooding is only the symptom of a problem.........
I suspect that the Environment Agency and their contrac6tors never
actually read 1992 MWEFAS Planning Inquiry evidence or the Inspector's
Report before they commenced construction. When the project exhibited
capacity issues and signs of structural failure in early 2003 the
authorities closed ranks and denied that there were significant problems.
While the EA claimed that I was a 'vexatious complainant' (and my local
Councillors undermined my attempts to raise the issues) the EA was actually
suing the designers for sub-standard design and construction.
In my opinion the river Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington) is just
history repeating itself - and with additional unanticipated consequences.
...............................................I intend to
present evidence at the River Thames Scheme Inquiry (but maybe not in this
order) as follows:
On matters specifically related to MWEFAS, Jubilee River, the River
Thames and the River Thames Scheme plus additional details on other flood defence
and land drainage infrastructure failure……….
I will firstly give appropriate credit to the late JD Perret
and M Reade.
I will submit evidence in respect of
the 1895 and 1947 flood events.
I will produce the evidence supporting my assertion that the
River Thames Scheme is 'history repeating itself'.
I will identify specific failings in the MWEFAS consultation,
planning, 1992 Inquiry and ministerial approval processes.
I will submit evidence to demonstrate that RBWM did not consult
I will explain why Horton and Wraysbury did not make
submissions to the 1992 Inquiry.
I will explain why Datchet was eventually included in the
pre-Inquiry process after the channel was diverted around Eton
I will identify the assurances given by experts at the 1992
Inquiry that have not been met, with particular reference to the
protection of 200 homes in Datchet.
I will submit evidence to demonstrate that the EA
constructed an 'algae production system' after submitting
evidence from 'experts' that algae would not be a problem. This
will apply to the proposed RTS.
I will demonstrate how problems predicted at the 1992
Inquiry were dismissed by ‘the experts.’
I will explain how important matters such as dredging were not even considered
at the 1992 Inquiry.
I will highlight JR sub-standard design, construction and
conveyance capacity issues.
I will show that MWEFAS hydraulic model (capacity) issues
identified by the assessor in 1992 were repeatedly ignored.
I will show how MWEFAS design changes were considered and/or
implemented after the
receipt of Ministerial approval.
I will refer to the JR operational procedure, failure to
work in accordance with the procedure and consequential down
stream effects that are not even acknowledged as fact let alone
I will detail significant, repeated and ongoing JR structural
failures, maintenance issues, stage/discharge issues, water
level and flow measurement, recording and hydrograph presentation issues.
I will offer examples of poor design in respect of JR access
- i.e. footpaths/car parks.
I will demonstrate how constructing the proposed RTS channel
through the gravel pits in Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury will
significantly impact water body interconnectivity and in
particular the system inter-relationship, response times and stage levels.
I will demonstrate how internal and external communications
failings combined with lack of oversight, scrutiny and
accountability has resulted in significant waste.
I will assert that at every stage (2003 to May 2015) there
was a lack of responsibility/accountability.
I will give examples of 'reward for failure.'
I will submit evidence to prove that the facts about the
River Thames 2003 flood event were suppressed.
I will state that in 2003 the Minister was either
misinformed or 'kept in the dark'.
I will submit evidence to demonstrate that after the 2003
flood event even the repairs were sub-standard.
I will submit evidence in respect of the £2.75m out-of-court
settlement for sub-standard design and construction.
I will show that the 2003/4 Clive Onions FRAG inquiry terms of reference
were manipulated to exclude important issues.
I will submit evidence to show that recommendations tabled
by the FRAG after the 2003 flood event have not been implemented
particularly in respect of dredging and operational matters.
I will demonstrate that the 2003/4 FRAG report was initially
published on the web but was then promptly removed.
I will submit evidence to show that revised flood mapping
issued by the EA as a consequence of promises given at the 1992
Inquiry led to confusion, discontent and houses built too low.
I will provide an example of llfa failing to comply with
FWMA 2010 (s19)
I will show how the FWMA 2010 fails to properly utilise
(s19) flood reports.
I will demonstrate how flood mapping affects insurance and
is still an issue in 2016.
I intend to demonstrate how individuals (including EA CEOs) have manipulated the
communications channels (by means of suppression, filtering,
censoring of information) consequently disadvantaging
I will submit evidence to demonstrate how lack of
engineering and management expertise within the EA leads to
mistakes and waste.
I will assert that ever-changing personnel leads to lack of
continuity and is a major reason for sub-optimal project
I will submit evidence to demonstrate how (during a rising
event) stage changes
upstream are significantly magnified by the time they arrive at
Datchet, Old Windsor and Wraysbury prior to returning to normal
after Staines e.g.. 1 metre, 2.4 metres returning to 1 metre.
I will submit evidence to highlight inconsistent standards
in respect of planning policy implementation at RBWM.
I will demonstrate how RBWM allocates ratepayer funds to RTS
I will demonstrate how the process (and thus the EA
organisation) ‘fails to learn’ and how
we are already on course to repeat the mistakes of the past.
I will submit evidence to demonstrate that the EA
consistently fails the tests for honesty, openness and
I will show how the EA administration 'propaganda machine'
promotes and supports disinformation.
I will demonstrate how lack of accountability has led to
failure of the political process to impose discipline or to
promote cultural change within the Environment Agency leading to
improved efficiency and effectiveness.I will show how the EA firstly re-designated Critical Ordinary
Watercourses as Main River and only a decade later commenced a
demaining programme.I will submit evidence
to demonstrate the long term neglect of main river maintenance
by EA (with particular reference to lack of dredging) leading to
increased probability of flooding.I will submit evidence to demonstrate the long term neglect of
ordinary watercourse maintenance by llfa's.I will submit
evidence in respect of River Thames blocked flood arches.I will submit
evidence in respect of River Thames blocked backwaters.I
will refer to the dangers of flooding leading to the lateral
migration of landfill gas.
I will assert that River Thames stage has been
raised over time.I will explain that downstream sedimentation is
due to upstream neglect.
I will explain how parallel channel designs accelerate sedimentation
and make a bad situation worse.I will explain how a parallel channel opening into a gravel pit
will lead to nutrient and sediment pollution.I will refer to
Zebra mussel infestations in water pipes.I will submit
evidence on the orchestrated opposition to dredging especially
the propaganda.I will show how Thames dredging was
terminated to avoid undermining the RTS project justification.I will give evidence on proposed RTS channel proximity to
leachate, gassing and contaminated land.I will show how PLP
- property level protection changed to property level products.
I will show how EA/NFF promoted airbrick covers - are now being
removed.I will give evidence
on ground water flooding caused by the Jubilee River.I will supply evidence on the lack of
groundwater level monitoring and control.I will explain that Datchet Common
Brook (designated main river) Wraysbury and Horton Drains are
all intersected by the RTS channel and could suffer loss of
connectivity.I will show that Wraysbury Drain is almost lost
as a watercourse despite significant maintenance expenditure.
I will show that the Wraysbury Drain has been culverted without
I will show that expenditure on the Wraysbury drain did not cure
the lack of water.I will
give evidence on the failure to contain flood water within the
Jubilee River channel at Black Potts initially creating a flood
path into Datchet and then repeated consequential damage.I
will show that the 2003 and two 2014 flood events were just
'ordinary' in comparison to 1947 and 1894.I will submit
evidence on the historic River Thames multiple bypass channel
I will assert that EA
hydraulic models were fundamentally flawed and offer evidence to
justify my claim.I will invite the EA to demonstrate that
dredging will not improve River Thames discharge.I will
present evidence on open watercourse capacity using the
essential elements of Manning's formulae.I will show that although the EA claims
'people and properties come first' this is not their practice!
I will show how most of the footpaths from Slough weir are
substandard in design and construction.
I will submit evidence to demonstrate
ongoing large scale development on flood plain.I will show
how car parks have been lost over timeI will demonstrate the
relevance and interrelationship between the tributaries and the
water bodies.I will refer to the Wraysbury Station WeirI will invite
the Planning Inspector to witness first hand the Jubilee River
and surroundings. I will refer
to the threats from a variety of invasive species.I will
refer in detail to the shortcomings of the 'Catchment Based Approach'
recommend a Royal Commission on Land Drainage.I will assert
that flooding is only the symptom of a problem that requires a
I will explain that the fundamental problem with the
national land drainage infrastructure is that
the EA has no legal obligation to maintain or improve the
conveyance capacity of designated main rivers.
Still more to add………….