Funding secured for £120m Oxford flood scheme

Image source, Air Experiences
Image caption,
Two of Oxford's arterial routes, Botley Road and Abingdon Road, were closed by flooding in 2014

Funding has been put in place for a £120m project to protect homes and businesses in Oxford from flooding.

The scheme will create a 3.1 mile (5km) channel across a floodplain between Botley Road in west Oxford to the River Thames near Kennington.

The Environment Agency said it would submit a planning application for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme next month.

If approved, it is expected to take about three years to build.

Joanna Larmour, from the Environment Agency, said the project was one of its largest and the funding meant it could move on to the next stage.

About £65m of the funding is being provided by the government which approved a draft business case last year.

Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Water are among several organisations also contributing.

Image caption,
The channel would "blend into the surrounding fields", the Environment Agency said

The River Cherwell and River Thames both run through the city which suffered flooding in 2007, 2012 and 2013/14.

A consultation report produced by the Environment Agency said flooding in each of those years would have been "significantly" reduced had the scheme been in place.

It also said the channel would be as natural as possible in appearance and blend into the surrounding fields.

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