Oxford rail works approved despite flood risk to nearby homes

Hinskey Stream where it meets the Thames Image copyright Mat Fascione
Image caption The new culverts will be built under the railway between Hinskey Drain and Hinskey Stream

A plan to raise part of a railway line in Oxford has been approved despite an increased flooding risk to 19 homes.

Network Rail is set to install two culverts to allow water to flow under the line at Abingdon Bridge Road.

The £18m scheme was approved by Oxford City Council because it will reduce rail disruptions caused by flooding.

Tim Sadler, community services director, admitted it was a "difficult situation" adding: "We understand people's concerns."

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Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The £18m scheme is designed to reduce rail disruptions caused by flooding

The raised track bed will create a dam across the existing flood plain, causing an increased flood risk elsewhere.

The scheme is also contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework, the council's own core strategy, and the Oxford Local Plan.

The proposal - to raise a 1.2km length of track by a maximum of 43cm - has been designed so it could fit into a proposed Oxford flood relief channel.

An objection from a Sunningwell Road resident said "directing floodwater towards a residential area... in order to protect a rail service" was fundamentally wrong.

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