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The Economic Case Against the Channel

Tim O'Hara resident and Surveyor

I've lived in Oxford since 1981, including in a street that flooded when I was living there, so I'm firmly in favour of flood protection. 

Despite this, I am one of many who are unhappy with the Environment Agency's current flood alleviation scheme. This is because it includes a long section of channel which will add relatively little flood protection, but will also be responsible for very large environmental and social costs.  

A better option would be that the scheme go ahead, but without almost all of the flood channel

But before looking at the specifics, I need to set the background to where we are today.

In 2014 after a flood earlier that year, the Environment Agency completed flood alleviation works that have been highly successful.  I say this because although we have had floods since then, there has been very little reported flood damage.

However, the authorities decided that additional flood alleviation measures were needed: in particular to provide protection in the event of a very bad flood, one that might be expected to occur only once in a hundred years.

Accordingly the Environment Agency devised a scheme to do this. Last year they submitted a planning application, and now have served compulsory purchase orders to compel landowners to give up their property whether they want to or not.

However, the County Council (as the planning authority) have concerns with the scheme. So last year they sent the Environment Agency what's called a regulation 25 letter seeking more information.  Some of this information has been provided, and this means that all of us have a fresh opportunity to comment.

Foggy Forest


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