OFA has put forward a suggestion to use Lamarsh Road as an alternative route to carry floodwater, rather than it flowing down the heavily populated Earl Street. The plan (from our document Building on Success) can be downloaded from the Library page.
This plan has been developing, in discussion with the Environment Agency (EA) and others, for many months. It was discussed at length at a meeting we organised in March this year, attended by representatives from the EA, the City, the County, the Regional Flood Defence Committee and others. The County undertook to cost the work and find what services lay below the road concerned, and the City and EA to work on technical aspects. The County did not make enquiries about services till 12 weeks later, nor at that stage had any costing been made. We still await these, four months after it was promised they would be obtained.
Oxford City has done great work throughout on refining the technical aspects of the plan.
The EA has lately agreed to take the lead role in pushing this plan ahead, and seeing if funding can be obtained, possibly by several sources combining.
Throughout this time, Kingerlee, the local builder and developer who own the site through which the route would run, have been extremely cooperative and helpful: we are very grateful to them.
Kingerlee have to start work on the site within the next few weeks, so things are very tight and urgent. The EA, County and City must get on, finalise and fund the scheme while the opportunity is still there. The EA are satisfied that the scheme would work to reduce flood risk.
We have been in touch with our local MP, Nicola Blackwood, who has been very supportive.
We are continuing to press for action. It would be a huge missed opportunity if this plan is not put into action before the Kingerlee site is developed, after which it will be too late to do so.