DD1502 Charlton to Crayford Integrated Water Management Strategy

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
19 April 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

Approval is sought for the GLA to procure and appoint consultants to undertake an Integrated Water Management Strategy (IWMS) for an area from Charlton to Crayford. The IWMS will set out an integrated assessment of the water, wastewater, environmental water quality and flood risk issues for the project area and provide recommendations to inform the development of the Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks for the area. 
The estimated cost of the IWMS is £60,000 which will be funded by a partnership of the GLA, Thames Water, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Bexley. The project will be managed by the GLA on behalf of this partnership. 


The Executive Director approves:
1.    Expenditure of up to £60,000 (including £10,000 from the GLA) to procure and appoint consultants from an appropriate TfL framework to undertake an integrated water management study on the area from Charlton to Crayford which will inform the Opportunity Area and other planning frameworks being developed for the area. 

2.    To enter into grant agreements for the receipt of contributions from the following partners towards the cost of the appointment of the consultants: 
•    Royal Borough of Greenwich £15,000
•    London Borough of Bexley £15,000
•    Thames Water Utilities Ltd £20,000


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    London faces the dichotomy of being at risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, as well as being at risk of water supply interruptions from prolonged droughts. To ensure that new development minimises any increase in these risks, the London Plan sets out a range of policies - 5.3 (sustainable development), 5.13 (sustainable drainage), 5.14 (water quality and wastewater infrastructure) and 5.15 (water use and supplies) – to encourage new development to be water efficient and manage surface water run-off, through a range of location, design and management measures.  

1.2     The London Plan (2015) identifies four ‘Opportunity Areas’ (OAs) within the IWMS project area – Charlton Riverside, Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Thamesmead, and Bexley Riverside. In 2015, the Mayor published City in the East, setting out the vision for workspaces for 14,500 new jobs and 41,500 new homes to be built in in the area. 

1.3     The IWMS is being developed to inform the development of planning frameworks for the area: The RB Greenwich is developing an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for Charlton Riverside for publication this summer and the LB Bexley is revising its Growth Strategy, which will act as the OAPF for the Bexley Riverside Opportunity Areas. 

1.4    Initial discussions with Thames Water regarding the capacity of existing infrastructure in the IWMS project area suggests that both the water supply and wastewater drainage infrastructure is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the demands of the projected growth. Most of the IWMS project area is outside Thames Water’s ring main and local resource options are expected to be insufficient, so unless potable water demands can be sufficiently managed, very extensive water supply infrastructure upgrades will be required. 

1.5     In addition, much of the IWMS project area is significantly below average sea level today (6 metres below average high tide at Thamesmead) and relies upon an extensive network of flood walls, lakes, waterways and pumping stations to manage its current flood risk. There are some areas of significant and extensive surface water flood risk in Charlton, Thamesmead, Abbey Wood, Belvedere and Slade Green, and areas of potential fluvial flood risk along the River Cray and River Darrent. 

1.6     Other than Charlton (which sits astride the Thames Barrier), the whole of the IWMS project area is outside the protection of Thames Barrier, but within the Thames tidal defences. The Thames Estuary 2100 Programme sets out the tidal flood risk management plan for the whole of the estuary and so includes the IWMS project area.   

1.7     There is therefore an urgent need to understand, plan and implement new infrastructure to manage flood risk and increase water supply security in a way that supports new development and enhances the quality of life of current and future residents and employees in the IWMS project area

1.8    The scope of the project has been developed in collaboration with the project’s funders. These organisations, together with the GLA will form the project’s steering group that will work with the appointed consultants to achieve the objectives of the project. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The aim of the IWMS is to provide spatial planning and technical recommendations on managing the flood risk, water security, water quality and drainage challenges to inform the OAPFs for the area.  This has been shown through previous IWMSs to be more effective and lead to more sustainable, cost effective outcomes than trying to retrofit the recommendations at a later stage.


Equality comments

3.1    The IWMS will consider the needs of all the equality groups as required by the GLA’s equality duty. 


Other considerations

a)    Key risks: The risks resulting from commissioning the IWMS are: 
Financial risk: 
This will be limited and managed as:
-    The financial security of the appointed consultants will be assessed as part of the procurement process. The GLA will appoint the consultants through a competitive tender from an appropriate TfL framework. 
-    All funding partners will be required to make their contributions towards the project’s costs before the first stage is complete, so the GLA will not be exposed to the risk of not being able to pay for the work. 
-    The consultants will only be paid in arrears for each stage, once the required output is of acceptable quality.  
Reputational risk
-    This is limited as the GLA’s role is to support boroughs in undertaking strategic planning and ensuring that London’s growth is sustainable. As noted below, this strategy will help achieve those aims. 

b)    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities
-    The London Plan has identified the Opportunity Areas covered by the IWMS as priority development areas. 
-    The Mayor’s Infrastructure Plan has demonstrated the need for a more integrated approach to managing water issues and recommends undertaking IWMS to inform development proposals at the earliest possible stage. 
-    The Mayor’s Adaptation Strategy and Water Strategy 
c)    Impact assessments and consultations 
-    Through reviewing the flood risk assessments undertaken by the boroughs and the Environment Agency, and assessing the capacity of the water infrastructure to cope with future demands, the IWMS is effectively undertaking an impact assessment to inform the respective OAPFs. 
-    A Steering Group involving key professional stakeholders will be formed to advise and support the consultants in undertaking this work. The draft IWMS will be consulted upon with a wider group of stakeholders as part of its development and the recommendations from the draft IWMS will be consulted upon through the public consultation of the OAPFs. 

Financial comments

5.1    Executive Director’s approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £60,000 to appoint consultants through the TfL frameworks to undertake an integrated water management study (IWMS) an area from Charlton to Crayford to inform the Opportunity Area and other planning frameworks being developed for the area. 

5.2     This expenditure will be funded as follow;
•    £10,000 from GLA Environment Programme budget or Environment’s 2016-17 Drain London reserves,
•    £15,000 from Royal Borough of Greenwich, 
•    £15,000 from London Borough of Bexley; and
•    £20,000 from Thames Water Utilities Ltd.

5.3    All the delivery and spend will take place within 2016-17 and officers should ensure that they enter into grant agreement with the above funders to agree their contribution. Invoices to the three organisations for their funding should also be raised in a timely manner before paying consultants.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract

04 April 2016


22 April 2016

Delivery Start Date

25 April 2016

Interim report delivery date

08 July 2016

Delivery End Date

02 September 2016