This webpage contains information regarding the Thames Water’s Counters Creek Sewer Flooding Alleviation Scheme and the associated planning applications.
The flooding of 2007 left hundreds of properties in the Borough flooded with surface and sewer water flooding. Since then, the Council has been working with Thames Water to address this problem and ensure residents and businesses are protected against flooding. Ofwat approved the funds needed to undertake the Counters Creek Sewer Alleviation Scheme in December 2014.
Thames Water’s proposal to solve this problem included four elements:
- A new storm relief sewer to increase the sewer capacity;
- Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to reduce surface water run-off entering the sewers (permeable paving in Arundel Gardens);
- Anti-flooding devices (also known as FLIPs: Flooding Local Improvement Process) to stop the sewers surcharging into lower properties; and,
- Local sewer improvements.
The proposed storm relief sewer went through several rounds of public consultation:
- Phase 1 consultation: 20 November 2014 to 8 February 2015 – view the Council’s response (February 2015)
- Interim Engagement consultation: 11 May to 22 June 2015 – see the Council’s response below
- Interim Engagement: autumn 2015
- Phase 2 consultation: 12 January 2016 to 5 April 2016 - see the Council's response (April 2016)
Thames Water were expected to submit planning applications in 2017 in relation to the proposed storm relief sewer. In January 2018, they contacted the Council to explain that they were reconsidering the project. They sent a letter to the local councillors, held a series of drop-ins for residents and produced a report to explain the project update.
Thames Water letter to councillors
Thames Water update report
The current proposal no longer includes a storm relief sewer but maintains the other three elements: SuDS to reduce surface water run-off; anti-flooding (FLIP) devices to stop the sewers surcharging into lower properties; and, local sewer improvements to increase the capacity of local sewers.
The local sewer improvement proposed for RBKC is an underground sewage pumping station on Queensdale Road. In June 2019 Thames Water submitted a planning application PP/19/03892 for the installation of a ventilation column and bollards in association with the underground sewage pumping station.
Scrutiny of Thames Water Proposal
The Council held a Public Realm Scrutiny Committee on the 23 July 2019 to scrutinise Thames Water’s decision. The agenda and other documents can be found on the Council's webpage. The Scrutiny Committee made recommendations to Thames Water in the letter below.
Thames Water responded to the Scrutinity Committee on the 11 September 2019 with the following letter and supporting documents.
The Council also contacted Ofwat to understand its duties on this project as the government’s regulator for water companies. They confirmed that they were looking at Thames Water business plan and at their changes to the Counters Creek project. They published their draft determinations on Thames Water business plan on 18 July 2019. The Council's response to their consultation can be found below:
Ofwat’s final determination included two new performance commitments for Thames Water regarding the Counters Creek:
- to produce a report about the risk of the catchment by the end of July 2023. The report should outline a long-term strategy for alleviating flooding in the area
- to report annually on how they are managing the network to ensure long-term resilience and reduce flood risk for customers, and how they are progressively developing their understanding of flood risk in the catchment
Both the draft determination and final determination are available on the Ofwat website:
Public meetings on flooding
Thames Water organised public meetings at the Town Hall to give an update on the Counters Creek project. The last meeting took place on 29 January 2018.