We had a successful meeting with Layla Moran, new MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, last week.
We talked about the proposed extension of Seacourt P&R, to which we are strongly opposed. The proposal by Oxford City Council involves building in the floodplain and is in our view clearly contrary to national planning guidance. We see many other problems with the application too. We have submitted detailed comments in the past, and have now made further objections which can be found on the Oxford City Planning website:
The application reference number is 16/02745/CT3.
We shared with Layla our ideas about making the most of the opportunities for freshwater wildlife that the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS) offers, and about ensuring robust arrangements for its maintenance long into the future.
- is very supportive of our position on Seacourt.
- aims to raise flooding in Parliament to address issues around how Flood Re is operating.
- intends to join the All-party parliamentary group, APPG, for Flood Prevention.
- is going to see what she can do to help secure the remaining money needed for OFAS.
- was due to meet the Environment Agency soon after meeting us and would raise with them the question of long term maintenance for OFAS.
We look forward to working with Layla in the future.
Botley Road, Jan 2014
Botley Road, looking east, Jan 2014
We are very strongly opposed to the proposed extension by Oxford City Council of Seacourt Park and Ride on the Botley Road, which has been mentioned here before.
If you want to see our latest objections go to http://public.oxford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OFE2FHMFIAV00 where you can see not only ours but the serious objections from others too.
If that doesn’t take you there direct go via https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20066/planning_applications click ‘View and comment on planning applications’, twice, and then search for Seacourt or 16/02745/CT3.
Osney Island, July 2007
Oxfordshire County Council has a useful “flood toolkit” at www.oxfordshirefloodtoolkit.com. The site has a great deal of information on how to prepare for flooding and so on. If you think you might be at risk, take a look.
Fat poured down drains causes fatbergs, solid blockages in the sewers.
Many other things are put down the drains which shouldn’t be and again cause blockages with potential sewer overflow. Such things include wet wipes, tampons, nappies, tights and cotton buds – none of these should be flushed down the loo, they should go into a bathroom bin.
There’s a pdf leaflet with more detail (but alternate pages are upside down as it’s designed to be printed into a foldable leaflet).
We met with the Environment Agency (EA) and Jeremy Biggs of the Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) today.
We talked about articulating an environmental vision for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (the Scheme) which brings together the various initiatives which are planned and how these will be managed and maintained. This included possible bodies/corporate structures that might be involved in overseeing maintenance in the long-term, to deliver both flood risk reduction and benefits for wildlife. We are working towards a preferred option for the future management arrangements.
FHT is hoping to facilitate community involvement in the conservation of freshwater habitats within the Scheme area – for example by employing someone to liaise with local people, including schools, so they can be involved in wildlife science in the floodplain. Part of the funding has been secured by a generous offer of funding from Thames Water, and FHT and EA will now approach other bodies together.
OFA is about to send letters asking local businesses to contribute funding to help close the small funding gap that remains for the Scheme.
We have ‘A letter from the Oxford Flood Alliance (OFA)’ in the Autumn 2017 Oxford City ‘Flood Update’ which you may have received. In case you wondered why there was no comment by us on the planning application to extend Seacourt Park and Ride, we did include such comment in our letter but it was not published. It read as follows:
Seacourt Park & Ride
We have opposed the application by Oxford City Council to extend this P&R into the flood plain. The present application does not, in our view, show that flood risk will not be increased. We believe that a revised application will be advertised in the not too distant future and we will scrutinise this with care.
Revisions to the application have since appeared. You can find the application by going to https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20066/planning_applications/328/view_and_comment_on_planning_applications and searching for Seacourt. Ref. No. is 16/02745/CT3. The closing date for comments is 4 October 2017.
We are consulting with Oxford MPs Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran on this. We believe that if this is allowed to go ahead in the functional floodplain, and being (we believe) contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), it would set a most dangerous national precedent.
Debris along the drain
An alert resident has reported to us that a large drain on the path from the end of Duke Street to King George’s Field is partially blocked. Our intrepid Nick Hills has investigated and whilst he was able to remove sticks and twigs that were probably stuffed into the drain by children, there is still a considerable amount of debris that needs to be cleared from the connecting pipe. We think that the County Council installed this drain (to help with flood relief) and we’re asking them to look into it (pun intended).
We’re happy to receive reports of obstructions in drains, trees in waterways and so on. It can be difficult to know who is responsible – we can usually help with that and with reporting the problem. Details of where the problem is are obviously essential and photos are very useful.