Thames Valley Flood Scheme - Frequently Asked Questions

Closed 20 Aug 2021

Opened 26 May 2021


  1. Welcome
  2. Why do we need the Thames Valley Flood Scheme?
  3. What is the Thames Valley Flood Scheme?
  4. Project ambitions and working together
  5. Strategic Environmental Assessment
  6. Timeline
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Consultation reports

More Information

With climate change we will see more frequent and severe flooding. This means some local schemes will become less effective over time unless we do further work to improve the benefit they provide. In some areas local schemes are not possible. Catchment wide approaches would benefit communities across the Thames Valley, both in those places with existing schemes, and those who do not currently benefit from a flood risk scheme.

More Information

A scheme of this scale can only succeed if we work in partnership across the catchment, and with the support of local communities. It will require funding from a range of sources; as well as central government it’s likely to need funding from multiple partners and beneficiaries.

More Information

At this stage we are investigating which approaches provide the greatest potential to manage flood risk at a catchment scale and to meet the shared project ambitions.
The timeline shown sets out the main project steps we will take as we develop a scheme. It is too soon to say exactly when and where any work will take place on the ground, as this is dependent on the findings of the technical assessment and the series of consultations set out in the timeline. We will keep customers and consultees informed of the latest timescales as the project develops.
Scheme timeline

More Information

Many towns and cities in England have historically centred around river crossings. This is the legacy that makes our towns what they are. We have to work with that legacy to try and prevent more properties become increasingly vulnerable to river flooding.​

Since the early 1990s the planning system has recognised the need to protect floodplains from further development and to provide space for water in times of a flood. Planning policy has increased in strength since that time. Today, planning policy steers new development away from areas at high risk of flooding. Where it is demonstrated that development in those areas is unavoidable the development has to be safe for its lifetime and not increase flood risk elsewhere. ​

The local planning authority is the decision maker for planning applications and makes its decision based on all material planning considerations including planning policy and advice from the Environment Agency.

More Information

The Environment Agency is a statutory consultee within the planning system for environmental matters as set out in the Development Management Procedure Order (DMPO) 2015. Local Planning Authorities consult us on relevant planning applications and we provide advice following national planning policy as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the associated Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). The local planning authority is the decision maker for planning applications and makes its decision based on all material planning considerations including our advice. ​

We are also consulted on Local Plans and their associated Sustainability Appraisals which local planning authorities prepare, setting their growth strategies for the next 15 to 20 years. We provide advice and guidance for their Local Plans on environmental issues within our remit in line with national planning policy. 



Previous: Timeline

Next: Consultation reports


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • Environment Agency customers
  • Local authorities
  • District and parish councils
  • Environmental bodies
  • Land owners
  • Farming associations
  • RFCCs
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Members of the public
  • Community groups
  • Non-governmental organisations with an interest in environmental issues
  • Environment Agency colleagues
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Flood Resilience Forums
  • Members of the public
  • Town and parish councils
  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees
  • Engagement specialists/operational staff in Natural Resources Wales, local authorities and other risk management authorities


  • Flood management
  • Water resources
  • Habitats and wildlife