Measures to help tackle flooding in Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury and Old Windsor are being actively explored by the Royal Borough and Environment Agency – with several shorter-term projects also planned and a dedicated project officer to be appointed.
The important work involves assessing potential longer-term options for reducing the risk and impact of flooding, including ideas suggested by parish councils and community groups themselves, which will then identify possible approaches to consider together with communities.
Councillor David Cannon, cabinet member for public protection, said: “While Channel 1 of the River Thames Scheme was unfortunately neither viable nor deliverable without significant additional external funding, or the greater flexibility we sought over council tax, the council’s original commitment of £10m is still ring-fenced to contribute to alternative flood alleviation works.
“We know that the risk of flooding remains very real in these communities and we are acutely aware of people’s concerns. In the shorter-term, the council is looking to undertake flood-related improvement and maintenance works at Wraysbury Drain, Datchet barrel arch and Datchet Common Brook with support from the Environment Agency.
“As part of identifying what longer-term alternatives might be affordable, deliverable and suitable, the council and the Environment Agency will be appointing a dedicated project officer, alongside reviewing potential options and exploring potential funding opportunities. The potential options include those already suggested by community groups and parish councils.
“We will keep residents informed as this complex work progresses and we will also be seeking to directly involve the community once we have identified possible approaches to consider together with residents, parish councils, landowners and other stakeholders.
“Any approach would ultimately have to be technically, ecologically and financially viable, as well as acceptable to the community as a whole. Significant partnership funding would also need to be secured from other sources.”
Jo Emberson-Wines, Environment Agency Area Flood & Coastal Risk Manager said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Royal Borough to find solutions to the real threat of flooding which work for the local communities and their environment. Whilst you can never protect against every eventuality we are determined to reduce flood risk in the area and help secure the necessary funding to make these communities safer from flooding.”