Navigating flood risk: Our strategy for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

In late 2021, Metis was tasked with creating a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Required by every Lead Local Flood Authority, these strategies are vital for mitigating the effects of flooding, which is a growing concern for communities and government authorities due to climate change and increasing urbanisation.

With the last strategy drafted in 2015, the borough required an updated approach to address the current flood risk challenges and promote a better understanding and management of flood risk within the community.

Keep reading to discover how our expert team developed this strategy.


Inception meeting

Metis began by holding an inception meeting to understand the unique needs of the borough, such as specific focus areas, communication preferences, and resident engagement strategies.

Data collection

Data collection followed, involving several sources including the borough itself, Thames Water, and the Environment Agency.

The result was a wealth of information including local flood risks, the local river network, and current and previous schemes, which informed the drafting of our initial strategy document, Action Plan, and several comprehensive maps.

Strategy development

In the initial strategy document, we proposed five strategic objectives:

  1. Improve our knowledge and understanding of the different risks of flooding in Kingston.
  2. Proactively encourage sustainable solutions for the management of local flood risk, taking account of climate change.
  3. Use planning powers to appropriately mitigate flood risk to or caused by developments across Kingston.
  4. Educate, encourage, and empower local residents, businesses, and landowners to take action on reducing flood risk.
  5. Nurture collaborative partnerships with key organisations and Risk Management Authorities, including for funding and resources.

Action plan

We then developed an Action Plan, outlining short, medium, and long-term tasks to be completed over the following six years. The Action Plan included specific tasks against the strategic objectives above for different organisations to manage flood risk.

Further analysis

To ensure environmental and habitat regulations were adhered to, Metis produced two additional documents: a Strategic Environmental Assessment and a Habitat Regulations Assessment.

This exhaustive data-driven approach allowed us to create a strategy grounded and tailored to the unique needs of the borough.

Public engagement: Drafting and revising the strategy

Once drafted, the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy was opened to public consultation, giving Kingston’s residents a chance to voice their concerns and provide feedback.

A questionnaire accompanied the strategy, encouraging resident participation. The consultation process spanned several weeks, providing ample opportunity for comprehensive feedback.

This public feedback was then incorporated into a final draft of the strategy and additional documents, ensuring the plan was responsive to the needs and concerns of the community.

Sharing our strategy: A focus on education and awareness

Once completed, the strategy was published on the borough’s website, becoming a valuable resource for residents and businesses alike. It highlighted ongoing Flood Alleviation Schemes, giving detailed insight into what the borough is currently doing to mitigate flood risks.

An essential aspect of the strategy was ensuring it could be easily understood by residents. We included sections explaining what residents can do in case of a flood and how to report different types of flooding, which not only informs but also empowers the community to take proactive steps to safeguard their properties.

The Metis difference: Trusted relationships and tailored solutions

What sets Metis apart is the strong personal relationships we develop with our clients, our specialised expertise in flood risk management, and our commitment to tailor solutions to their needs. Our team immersed themselves within the borough, resulting in a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by the borough.

This connection, along with our deep understanding of flood risk management, enabled us to create a strategy that addressed the borough’s specific needs while fostering a culture of flood awareness and resilience.

Want to learn more about our work? Check out our case studies.

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