OPPONENTS of the Seacourt park-and-ride expansion plan given government approval on Friday have vowed to keep fighting for changes.

One councillor has even suggested the Botley Road car park extension may still not go ahead if other park-and-ride sites are brought forward first.

Oxford City Council, which is planning the 685 new spaces in the green belt, has still not said exactly when work will start.

Oxford Flood Alliance chairman Peter Rawcliffe said his group would continue pushing for better flood mitigation.

He said: "Obviously we are very disappointed and we still think this expansion is a very poor idea.

"If it were to go ahead we would be very concerned about how little we know about what will happen to ground water and the potential implications for residents.

"We will probably want to seek a meeting with the council to try to get more details."

The flood alliance fears that an underground 'tanking' system designed to collect surface water and channel it into the Seacourt Stream will block flood water rising from below and force it into surrounding areas including, potentially, homes and gardens.

The council previously said it had no record of a groundwater flooding problem on the site, but it later emerged that the Environment Agency has never monitored groundwater flooding there – only river flooding.

City councillor Colin Cook, who battled fellow councillors to defeat the expansion plan, said he was also disappointed by communities secretary Sajid Javid's announcement on Friday that he was not going to call in the plan.

But Mr Cook went on: "The devil will be in the detail and we will see what happens from here.

"In terms of what comes to pass I hope the council listen very carefully to some of the criticisms."

Mr Cook also suggested that Oxfordshire County Council, which opposed the Seacourt expansion because it wants to build new park-and-rides outside of the city centre, could still bring those plans forward before the city council started work on Seacourt.

Sajid Javid's ruling on Friday was the third time the expansion plan has effectively been approved.

Oxford City Council's West Area Planning Committee first voted to approve the plan on December 13.

That was despite criticism that the expansion was in the green belt and in the highest flood risk zone.

Councillors including Mr Cook then called in that decision for a review hearing, but that committee also passed it in January.

A group of opponents including Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran then asked Mr Javid to consider reviewing that decision.

The council has always maintained that the extra spaces at Seacourt are needed to help cope with the growing number of cars driving into the city centre, largely as a result of the new Westgate Centre.

It has also said it is planning thorough flood risk mitigation measures.