Oxford flood defence scheme secures full funding

WCN Editorial Team 13 Feb 2018 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

The Oxford flood alleviation scheme partnership has secured full funding for the £120m Oxford flood alleviation scheme, which is aimed at reducing flood risk to homes, businesses, and transport in Oxford and the surrounding area.

The scheme will include at least 15 hectares of new habitat creation, seven new bridges and 2.6km of new flood defences.

The government has already committed more than £65m in funding and several partners have now given a record amount of funding totalling over £55m.

Investment has been secured from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Thames Water Utilities and the University of Oxford.

The scheme is expected to benefit everyone who lives, works in or visits Oxford. It will reduce property flooding, protect the railway and Botley and Abingdon roads, and also reduce flood-related electricity, telephone and internet disruptions.

HM Treasury had approved the outline business case for the scheme in November 2017 on the condition that full funding had to be committed before the scheme could move to the next stage.

The total amount will cover the design and construction costs.

The project team will now work on the full business case and submit it to HM Treasury later in 2018.

The project partners will continue negotiations with external companies for future investment in the scheme.

The Environment Agency will submit planning application for the scheme in March 2018.

The flood defence scheme, which is designed to work with the natural floodplain west of Oxford, is expected to take three years to be completed.

Environment Agency project director Joanna Larmour said: “This is a huge scheme – one of the biggest the Environment Agency is working on – and when complete it will not only reduce flood risk to homes across Oxford but it will also protect vital infrastructure, enabling the city to keep moving during flooding.

“It will also benefit communities and wildlife in a number of ways, including improving existing public footpaths and creating new habitat for wildlife and improving biodiversity.”

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