FLOODING: Latest crisis will not stop Botley Road developments

The Oxford Times: An artist’s impression of Doric’s proposed development An artist’s impression of Doric’s proposed development

PLANS for two major developments for Oxford’s Botley Road area have not been affected by flooding, according to developers.

Despite Botley Road flooding last month and being threatened by rising water levels again this week, both Doric – which is redeveloping West Way shopping centre – and Waitrose – which wants a store in Botley Road – say it has not affected their proposals.

Doric is leading a £100m regeneration of Botley’s shopping centre, which includes a superstore.

Simon Hillcox, of Doric Properties, said: “We’ve carried out a flood risk assessment and concluded there are no substantive flood issues with our plans, including the car park.

“Even at the height of the flooding, Botley remained accessible to shoppers despite the Botley Road being closed due.

“There is no reason why that should change.

“We have had detailed discussions with Thames Water which has been very positive about our plans.

“We’ve proposed extensive areas of green roofs planted with sedum (a flowering plant), permeable paving and underground storage tanks, all of which will absorb and slow water flow and regulate drainage.

“These measures will improve the drainage compared to the current shopping centre and will reduce pressure on the sewer network.”

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Waitrose has submitted plans to Oxford City Council to demolish the former MFI and Halfords buildings in Botley Road for a new supermarket.

The development will bring 160 jobs and the council aims to make a decision by March 11.

Waitrose spokesman James Armstrong said: “Our proposal is designed to increase flood water storage to what is currently on site.

“We are committed to progressing our planning application but will continue to work closely with the Environment Agency to ensure the appropriate mitigation is in place.”

Chris Church, of the West Way Community Concern group, is worried by the number of flats proposed by Doric and with underground streams in the West Way area. He said: “We will study the environment impact assessment and flood assessment carefully.”

Botley resident Grant Nightingale said of the West Way plans: “It is such a big development. There is a question of drainage from that.”

Of Waitrose he added: “I don’t think that would add to flooding as they are using an existing site.”

Comments (6)

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6:04pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

The recent floods simply emphasize why development at Botley is absolutely essential for the local area.

If the Botley is going to be regularly isolated from the retail area of central Oxford then vulnerable people and those without a car deserve a modern and comprehensive retail and leisure facility on their doorstep.
The recent floods simply emphasize why development at Botley is absolutely essential for the local area. If the Botley is going to be regularly isolated from the retail area of central Oxford then vulnerable people and those without a car deserve a modern and comprehensive retail and leisure facility on their doorstep. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

11:10pm Sat 15 Feb 14

MrSooty says...

How will the addition of 500 students to the area "reduce the pressure on the sewer network" ? I don't know how much waste students create but at a guess of 50l per day each that's an extra 25000 litres entering the system.At times of flooding where will it go?
How will the addition of 500 students to the area "reduce the pressure on the sewer network" ? I don't know how much waste students create but at a guess of 50l per day each that's an extra 25000 litres entering the system.At times of flooding where will it go? MrSooty
  • Score: -1

9:46am Sun 16 Feb 14

mytaxes says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
The recent floods simply emphasize why development at Botley is absolutely essential for the local area.

If the Botley is going to be regularly isolated from the retail area of central Oxford then vulnerable people and those without a car deserve a modern and comprehensive retail and leisure facility on their doorstep.
Well said Andrew and let's not forget the jobs which will be created. Unfortunately the campaigning academics and older residents are not interested in jobs.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: The recent floods simply emphasize why development at Botley is absolutely essential for the local area. If the Botley is going to be regularly isolated from the retail area of central Oxford then vulnerable people and those without a car deserve a modern and comprehensive retail and leisure facility on their doorstep.[/p][/quote]Well said Andrew and let's not forget the jobs which will be created. Unfortunately the campaigning academics and older residents are not interested in jobs. mytaxes
  • Score: 0

9:55am Sun 16 Feb 14

marigold2 says...

It is misleading to say that Doric 'is leading a £100m regeneration of Botley centre'. Doric's plans are not yet approved.

Nor would I class most local objectors to the plan- whether 'academics and older residents' or not, as opposed to any building or provision of new services in Botley. The vast majority of Botley people want to see some rebuilding and refurbishment precisely so that Botley continues to provide all that we need locally- what I and others object to is the out-of-scale development of what -despite Doric's protestations- is clearly to be a destination rather than local centre.
It is misleading to say that Doric 'is leading a £100m regeneration of Botley centre'. Doric's plans are not yet approved. Nor would I class most local objectors to the plan- whether 'academics and older residents' [an odd pairing] or not, as opposed to any building or provision of new services in Botley. The vast majority of Botley people want to see some rebuilding and refurbishment precisely so that Botley continues to provide all that we need locally- what I and others object to is the out-of-scale development of what -despite Doric's protestations- is clearly to be a destination rather than local centre. marigold2
  • Score: 1

5:07pm Sun 16 Feb 14

LadyJ says...

Mr Sooty, don't worry about the extra wastewater - it will go to the water treatment works, not into the rainwater sewers that drain into the rivers.
Mr Sooty, don't worry about the extra wastewater - it will go to the water treatment works, not into the rainwater sewers that drain into the rivers. LadyJ
  • Score: -1

10:12pm Sun 16 Feb 14

MrSooty says...

It'smore likely to end up in Duke and Earl St.
It'smore likely to end up in Duke and Earl St. MrSooty
  • Score: 1

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