Teston Sluice Strategic Outline Case

Location: River Medway Kent                                                               Client: Environment Agency

Teston sluice is located on the River Medway in Kent. As part of the Collaborative Delivery Framework, JBA Consulting and the Environment Agency produced a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to recommend the replacement of Teston sluice, due to its present condition posing safety, navigation, and environmental risks.


Teston sluice requires replacement due to mechanical and electrical deterioration, which has resulted in regular failure to maintain a fixed upstream water level. When the sluice fails, intensive maintenance operations are required along with debris clearance, which has associated health and safety implications for these operations. The sluice does not provide flood protection but is perceived by members of the public to be a flood risk asset. Anti-social behaviour has also been associated with the sluice structure. Currently the eel mats in the canoe-fish bypass channel have been removed due to siltation, meaning eel passage is no longer possible. In its present condition the sluice does not operate effectively or safely and does not meet statutory obligations.


We carried out a data review to establish the requirements, condition and features of the structure. An environmental baseline assessment identified key constraints and opportunities relating to the replacement of the sluice. We undertook hydraulic modelling to investigate the impact of the sluice on flood risk, which was found to have no effect on property flooding, and an appraisal evaluated the possible options based on critical success factors. Carbon modelling identified the lowest carbon option, which became the preferred option.

The project had to be delivered in half the time such a case would usually require, due to the urgency of work needed to address the current condition of the sluice. One of the ways this challenge was met was through effective collaboration between different teams and stakeholders.

The project involved staff with different areas of expertise, such as civil engineering, environmental assessment, and hydraulic modelling, from different companies: JBA Consulting; the Environment Agency; and VolkerStevin. Effective meetings and workshops were crucial to meet the tight deadlines, and innovations such as using a virtual concept board for the long list appraisal, promoted our interactions and inclusivity.


The project delivered a case which will improve operational efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and increase operational and public safety. The proposed option will also fulfil statutory obligations to maintain navigation, upstream abstraction requirements and allow eel passage.

Want to know more?

You can email Angie McKinney, JBA Project Manager, for more information about this project.

Leave a Reply