Environment Agency launches 10 year update to TE2100

Posted on 19/05/23 by Jude Hassall

LCCP partner, the Environment Agency launched their 10 year update to the world leading Thames Estuary 2100 plan at City Hall on Wednesday 17th May.

The plan sets out how the Environment Agency and partners can manage the risk of tidal flooding along the Thames. The plan is fully adaptive whcih means it has built in mechanisms to allow it to flex over time according to the emerging and changing risks. It is one of the first examples globally of such a plan. Adaptive planning means that risks can be anticipated and built into strategies and investment plans ahead of time.

Building in review and update cycles is a critical part of the adaptive approach and this latest update is the first full review and update of the plan since it was published in 2012.

Critical changes include:

  • Bringing forward the deadline for updating flood defences west (upstream) of the Thames barrier by 15 years to 2050.
  • Confirming that all options for replacing the Thames Barrier by the end of the century should remain open.
  • Bringing forward the replacement decision for end of century options by 10 years from 2050 to 2040.

The Environment Agency only owns 12% of the Thames’s flood defences and a critial part of the plan will be to work collaboratively with partners across London to help enable delivery of the actions needed to protect London and Londoners. The plan is non statutory.

The review process has been steered by an advisory group who have written to the to the Secretary Of State, Therese Coffey with four recommendations concerning the plan:

1. The plan should be placed on a statutory footing in spatial planning.

2. A long term funding solution is essential to ensure the sustainable implementation of the Plan.

3. A Government review of how best to maintain and fund 3rd party flood defences in the estuary to ensure a consistent and comprehensive approach which keeps pace with rising sea levels.

4. Local authorities and the Environment Agency need ongoing resources and support for the awareness and engagement that is essential to an adaptive planning approach.

You can read the letter and summary here.