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Reducing the flood risk


Some key points in your article about the Jubilee River (NCE 19/26 August) need to be addressed.

The claim that 'hundreds of homeowners face a serious risk of flooding this winter' fails to note that all properties protected by the Jubilee River during the January 2003 floods - the worst for 47 years - would remain protected in the event of similar flooding.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead will not have to tell homeowners their properties 'are not safe from flooding'.

We are working with the Royal borough to identify affected properties where further steps may need to be taken to reduce flood risk in the light of new information.

NCE is also in danger of muddling claims about the Jubilee River capacity with residents' long standing worries about downstream flooding.

The Atkins reviews cover the condition of the asset and its resultant capacity but not the issue of downstream flooding.

This was dealt with conclusively by three other independent reports, each of which concluded that the Jubilee River did not cause downstream flooding.

The Environment Agency's objective remains to minimise the risk of flooding along the Thames. Maximising the use of the Jubilee River, updating our planning advice to local authorities and our advice to the public are all part of this risk management approach.

Chris Birks, regional director, Environment Agency, Kings Meadow House, Kings Meadow Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 8DQ

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