River Thames Scheme aims to protect England’s largest area of undefended floodplain 

The Environment Agency is looking for a construction partner to carry out flood defence work worth up to £500m. 

The River Thames Scheme, which has been developed by the agency in conjunction with Surrey County Council, aims to reduce the risk of flooding in an area south-west of London. 


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Teddington Weir (pictured) will see its flow capacity improved as part of the scheme

Over 10,000 homes and businesses are currently within a flood-risk area along the River Thames between Egham and Teddington, which is the largest area of undefended, developed floodplain in England.  

The job consists of building 8km of new flood channels in two sections, improving flow capacity at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington weirs and improving flow capacity downstream of the Desborough Cut channel. 

New flood defences will protect not only homes and businesses but also major infrastructure, including the M3. 

The chosen contractor will also be tasked with building community resilience through flood planning and improved emergency planning, creating new green open spaces and habitat creation areas, and providing a new sustainable travel route. 

Since the scheme was conceived in 2014, the Environment Agency has reportedly spent £70m on pre-construction work.  

A six-week public consultation on the project is currently underway.