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.
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.
The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS) Sponsoring Group met earlier this month. This group provides high-level oversight of the project and is made up of representatives from the several partner organisations. One topic discussed was the shortfall of £4 million of the £121 million cost of the scheme. As the local ‘grass roots’ community organisation we’re now exploring ways we might engage support from local businesses.
Here’s the latest newsletter from the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Further archaeological investigations are starting soon in the OFAS area, with digging of trenches in places identified from previous work as being of potential interest. Teams are due to begin setting up base camp in Manor Farm, South Hinksey today. The work is expected to be completed in November 2017.
See this Archaeology Information Sheet for more details.
Public consultation on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, OFAS, begins tomorrow.
See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/oxford-flood-alleviation-scheme-design-consultation for more about this, and tomorrow the dedicated consultation website should be available from the link there.
We joined Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, the OFAS Project Team and other partners when Emma visited Oxford today. The Public Consultation for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is due to be launched in two days time, on Friday 23 June.