RESIDENTS whose homes were wrecked by flooding can soon have their say on a new £120m project aimed at protecting thousands of homes.

The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme will protect more than 1,200 homes and businesses at risk of flooding, and follows heavy flooding in the area in 2007, and again in 2013 and 2014.

Work on the project will not begin until December 2018 and it is expected to be completed by 2022.

A public consultation is set to be launched tomorrow asking residents to tell planners what they want from the project and to comment on its design.

Chairman of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd said: “The Oxford flood scheme will be a major feat of engineering and is one of the biggest projects we are working on across the country.

“I am very proud of our partnership approach which is so important to building the scheme and keeping this iconic city moving during times of flood, for businesses, commuters and communities of Oxford.”

The consultation which can be completed online will run between June 22 and July 20.

Residents are asked for their views on some of the design features including seven new bridges along the route as well as options for benches and cycle racks on footpaths from Botley Road to Kennington.

The scheme involves lowering parts of Oxford’s flood plain to increase capacity for floodwater as well as widening and deepening some of the rivers and streams that run through it.

Scheme director Joanna Larmour said of the consultation: “We are very keen to engage with the public. One thing we are asking about is the design of the bridges and the railings.

“It’s an area that people are using everyday so we want to know what works for them.

“People will remember the flooding which happened here in 2013 and 2014 and I think protecting the main routes to Oxford as a result of that was really a driver for the scheme.”

The cost of the project is £120m which guarantees maintenance work for the next ten years once the scheme is completed.

Ongoing costs beyond this are expected to total around £200,000 each year and although no formal arrangement is in place to pay this scheme designers hope to form a new Trust to keep it looked after.

Peter Collins, waterways operations manager, said of the project: “Oxford will flood again. We need to keep that message of flood resilience going and to keep everybody understanding our message that flooding is a risk here.”

Of the consultation he said: “We are positive that we will go to construction late next year and we need to keep people informed about where we are with it.”

Public events will be held at Kennington Library between 2pm and 7pm on June 30 and again at Oxford Central Library 12pm until 6pm on July 6 and Botley Library between 9.30am and 2pm on July 11 to discuss the project.

The consultation can be accessed by visiting the Environment Agency website.

The Oxford Times:

Oxford floods - 10 years on 

ALMOST ten years ago, Oxfordshire as well as many parts of the country, saw some of the most devastating floods in living memory. 

In July 2007 more than 3,000 homes were hit by the floods across the county and many residents were forced to flee their homes.

The Oxford Times:

There was also a full closure of Botley Road and Abingdon Road as a result of the deluge, bringing the city to its knees.

We want to hear from people who were affected by the 2007 floods. 

Send us your memories to news@oxfordmail.co.uk