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The London Assembly Environment Committee in April 2014 published a report which contained the recommendation: “The operation of the Barrier and expectations for future upgrades should be reviewed in light of the record number of closures required in the winter of 2013/14." Please set out what steps are currently being undertaken to assess the need of a replacement or a new Thames Barrier to prevent flooding in London.
The Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) Plan puts in place the strategy for managing tidal flood risk in the Thames estuary out to 2100. The Plan responds to different scenarios for sea level risk and other projected changes to the climate and weather. The current plan, accounts for recently announced forecasts in sea level rise, which say it could rise up to 2.3 metres by 2100. The Environment Agency developed the Plan and is responsible for managing flooding in London and the rest of England.
The TE2100 Plan predicts a new Thames Barrier will be needed in the 2070s. The Plan is undergoing a 10-year review in 2020 where the latest monitoring data and evidence will be used to re-assess the timeline for a new barrier, and to ensure the Plan remains fit for purpose to protect London in future. My officers will work with the Environment Agency to support this review. I have also been working closely with the Environment Agency, who own and operate the existing Thames Barrier to safeguard sites outside of London for a future barrier. Together with the Environment Agency and Port of London Authority I have successfully called on Thurrock Council to safeguard land for the barrier whilst allowing for redevelopment in the area.