Mr Gummer accepted plans for a National Rivers Authority scheme to protect the Thames basin between Maidenhead and Windsor from flooding, subject to conditions and agreements.
He intends to accept the recommendations of the planning inspector who conducted a three-month public inquiry into the proposals in 1992.
The scheme is expected to cost around £60 million and to take four to five years to complete.
To ensure the channel provides an attractive local amenity Mr Gummer and agriculture minister William Waldegrave propose to issue a direction to the NRA about the management of water flows in the channel.
Interested parties have been given 28 days to make final representations about that direction, and about the proposed conditions and agreements intended to reduce the impact of the scheme on local residents.
Mr Gummer has accepted the need to protect the area from flooding outweighs objections, including those from local communities worried about disturbance while the scheme is being built.
While he is satisfied the safeguards proposed by the NRA, included in the planning conditions and agreements, will greatly reduce the impact of construction, he is giving a further opportunity for comment on them before he comes to a final conclusion.