The Environment Agency has issued a Compulsory Purchase Order under provisions in the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Environment Act 1995 in order to acquire land and rights over land, for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.
The land is required for the purposes of constructing and operating flood alleviation works in areas situated in and to the west, south west and south of Oxford, Oxfordshire.
Compulsory Purchase Order letters have been sent out to landowners and anyone else who may have an interest in land that is impacted by the scheme on a permanent or temporary basis. The Environment Agency has separately published a lengthy 515 page document setting out details of land to be acquired and ownership.
The project team has been negotiating with landowners to obtain permission to use their land. Landowners impacted by permanent or temporary work, and people who have an interest in land impacted by permanent or temporary work have been contacted directly by the project land agents.
The Agency is working with partners on the major new scheme to reduce flood risk to homes and businesses in Oxford, as well as to services and major transport routes into the city. The scheme partners are Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, Thames Water, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Oxford Flood Alliance, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and University of Oxford.
The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme will cost around £121m and is one of the biggest flood schemes in the country, second only to the River Thames Scheme planned for further down the River Thames.
The ambitious project is made possible through central government funding of approximately £65 million and local contributions. A record £56 million has been raised by partners. Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Oxford City Council and Thames Water have all made contributions.
Oxford has had a number of significant floods in past decades that have caused internal property damage and closed the railway and major roads, bringing the city to a standstill. The Environment Agency maintains rivers and streams and operates weirs and locks in and around Oxford. This work reduces flood risk in Oxford from smaller, more regular floods, but more significant flooding cannot be reduced by watercourse maintenance alone.
Flooding is also expected to become more frequent and more severe with the effects of climate change. The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is designed to manage flood risk to Oxford over the next 100 years.
A decision on the planning application for the scheme which was submitted in March 2018 is expected by the end of 2018.
If all approvals are granted construction will start in 2019 and is expected to take 3 to 4 years.The planning application documents are available to view on the Oxfordshire County Council planning portal.