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The Experts

You are in: Kent > Thames Gateway > Opinion & Debate > The Experts > Viewpoint: Environment Agency

Ingress Park

Ingress Park: where river meets homes

Viewpoint: Environment Agency

Three experts from the Environmenet Agency describe their role in advising developers about protecting natural habitats, decontamination and managing flood risk.

Thames Gateway: Flood Risk

Lower Halstow Dock

Lower Halstow Dock. Photo: Environment Agency

By Richard Knight

One of the biggest challenges of the Thames Gateway developments is managing flood risk. Much of the development is going ahead in the natural flood plain of the River Thames. Living within the floodplain is never without risk but the Thames Gateway presents an opportunity to incorporate flood risk management at the earliest stages of development.

We look to ensure all new development in the tidal flood plain takes account of flood risk, and minimises the impact of a flood in the unlikely event the defences are overtopped or fail. We look for developers to be using a number of measures to achieve this. These measures include:

• site design
• building-in flood resilience
• providing dry access/egress routes
• flood warning
• emergency planning.

We have supplied flood risk data and advice for the development of strategic flood risk assessments (SFRAs) for the three Thames Gateway Strategic Partnerships covering East London, Kent (Thameside, Swale, Medway) and South Essex. For sites in higher risk areas where a local authority considers development is appropriate we require site flood risk assessments to be carried out. These have to indicate the flood risk from all sources, and how that risk will be managed over the lifetime of the development.

There are a number of projects running in the Kent Area, where the Agency is adopting the approaches outlined above, including; Rochester Riverside, Northfleet Embankment and Chatham interface. For any new developments the Agency has produced a guide for developers – It provides practical advice on good practices in one easy reference guide. This was released at the end of 2006.

This project runs alongside the TE2100 project, which is a strategy that will take into account increasing flood risk due to climate change, rising sea levels, natural ageing of defence infrastructure, and new development in the tidal floodplain. It aims to develop a tidal flood risk management strategy for London and the Thames Estuary for the next 100 years.

last updated: 04/06/2008 at 16:25
created: 06/02/2007

You are in: Kent > Thames Gateway > Opinion & Debate > The Experts > Viewpoint: Environment Agency

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