Letter: Thames tamed
Friday 30 July 1999
Sir: Having read with interest your article about development on the Isle of Dogs ("Back from the dogs", 24 July), I am tempted to point out that none of this development - including Canary Wharf - would have been viable without the protection offered by the Thames Barrier. Before the barrier was built, the Isle of Dogs was very much in a flood risk area with the possibility of floods 8-9ft deep if the existing Thames bank had been overlapped.
As one of the officials involved in the construction of the barrier, I recall the efforts that were made at the planning stage to calculate whether the benefits - in terms of damage avoidance - could justify the cost (eventually pounds 500m). Nobody dreamt of adding into the equation the future value of development that would be possible when the flood risk area was protected.
It now transpires that the cost of the barrier could have been justified on these grounds alone. If only the Treasury could have foreseen the future, they could have recouped the cost of construction by levying a "betterment" tax on all developments within the protected areas.
Petworth, West Sussex
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
Best TV shows on Netflix: 26 series to binge on
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace