At the time of writing I have not heard much about the River Thames Scheme, other than it affects areas downstream such as Datchet and Wraysbury.
But one aspect that I have noticed is that the promotional blurb speaks of ‘protecting our communities, securing our economy and enhancing our Thames.’ This is an example one of those significantly overblown PR claims that rather annoys me.
It would of course be brilliant if such achievements could truly be assured by the scheme, but we all know that the claims are merely hyperbole and stand nil chance of actually achieving anything remotely as impressive as the literature and artists’ impressions might suggest.
What is more, there are threats all along the riverbank to the potential ‘enhancement’ of the riverside, not least a proposal for some large houseboats upstream, the vandalism to the 1930s riverside promenade by Windsor Bridge where gaps have been cut for access to a large pontoon, the grotesque Turquoise Giant on Thames Side and increased development on the far bank, to name but a few. One man’s enhancement (financial gain) is another’s loss (visual loss).
The scheme has been brought about by the proposal to increase flood protection downstream by the construction of more ‘Jubilee River’ or its equivalent so there is certainly value there for the many residents who suffered last winter (2014) but I am not convinced that the hype promoted by the logo above will ever, or could ever, match up to expectations.
But that is what this forum is all about. Discussing such matters.
The Windsor Observer report is here. It concentrates on the flood protection angle in the main so it remains to be seen how the other aspects might be reflected. I accept that the scheme will not be covering development as such, and there will be many who see the Jubilee River as a benefit for more than just flood relief purposes, but ‘Securing our economy’? Slightly over-egging the pudding?