My Account

Our focus is upon minimising flooding within the borough and improving water quality for river users and wildlife.

Find out how we will manage water in the borough:

Our objectives

We will ensure that development across Richmond addresses flood risks and promotes sustainable drainage. We will promote and encourage development to be fully resilient to the future impacts of climate change in order to minimise vulnerability of people and property, including risks of flooding, water shortages and the effects of overheating.

Our key target is to be fully prepared for flooding.

A large proportion of the borough is situated in close proximity to the River Thames and its tributaries (River Crane and Beverley Brook). A considerable proportion of the borough is at risk of flooding. The risk of flooding posed to properties arises from a number of sources including river flooding, localised runoff, sewer and groundwater flooding.

Many existing water mains, sewerage systems and treatment works are becoming overloaded. It is essential to ensure that such infrastructure is in place ahead of development to avoid unacceptable impacts on the environment such as sewage flooding of residential and commercial property, pollution of land and watercourses plus water shortages with associated low-pressure water supply problems.

What we are doing to reduce the risk of flooding

Richmond's Local Plan highlights that all developments should avoid, or minimise, contributing to all sources of flooding, including fluvial, tidal, surface water, groundwater and flooding from sewers, taking account of climate change and without increasing flood risk elsewhere.

Specific actions highlighted in the Climate Emergency Strategy around water, include:

  • Continue to promote green infrastructure to act as flood storage areas, holding large volumes of water in temporary ponds to protect built up areas from flooding
  • Continue to identify flooding threats, utilising assessment tools to identify those people most at risk of climate change related flooding
  • Work with residents and businesses to identify opportunities for reducing runoff and improving water storage capacity across the borough
  • Pilot the installation of rain gardens, reducing rainwater runoff and promoting biodiversity
  • Provide Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to avoid rapid rain run-off into drains and rivers and improve water quality

Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (Defra\EA)

Working in partnership with Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Barnes Common Limited (previously Friends of Barnes Common), we submitted a bid for funding through the Environment Agency's Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme. Our bid focused on the Beverley Brook catchment in Richmond, which covers the area from Richmond Park to north Barnes. At the end of March 2021, the Council was informed our bid was successful and Richmond is one of 25 areas across England to receive approximately £6 million of funding from Defra. This project is part of the £200 million Flood and Coastal Innovation Programmes which is managed by the Environment Agency. The programmes will drive innovation in flood and coastal resilience and adaptation to a changing climate.

The project is a community driven approach to improve the ability for local people and places to plan for, respond to, and recover from flooding and the effects of climate change.

The project partnership will also work collaboratively and cooperatively with organisations like the Environment Agency, Thames Water, South East Rivers Trust and the Beverley Brook Catchment Partnership. By working with local communities we will create projects that work for residents and visitors, providing multiple benefits. We will improve the area's protection and response to flooding by installing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), introducing Natural Flood Management (NFM) schemes (such as wetlands to increase amenity and improve water quality) and Nature Based Solutions (NBS). We will use Integrated Water Management (IWM) solutions to collaborate with stakeholders on improving community resilience to flood risk and climate change.

Programme aims

The project will:

  • Improve flooding resilience with communities using new methods and ideas
  • Work with the community to shape and create the project, giving it a momentum beyond the project
  • Equip the community with knowledge about what they can do
  • Gather evidence to inform more investment, both locally and across the country
  • Create and adapt green and blue spaces to cope better with extreme weather events. Benefits include better water quality and biodiversity, amenity and recreation space. People will have opportunities for better health, wellbeing and community.

Latest update

An outline business case has been approved by the Environment Agency.

We have started installing some small Sustainable Drainage Systems in three locations. This will help build our evidence and reduce highway flooding issues. From early 2023 we will work with the community to develop solutions and find ways to improve flood resilience together.

Find out more information about the Council’s Climate Emergency.

More information on Defra project selection can be found on the GOV.UK website.

You can find more information on this project and our partners below:

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