Witney News - Go-ahead for flood relief project

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Go-ahead for flood relief project

Work on a long-awaited scheme to help reduce the risk of flooding in Bampton and RAF Brize Norton has started.

The scheme, driven by West Oxfordshire District Council, has involved several agencies including the Ministry of Defence, Thames Water, Oxfordshire County Council and local flood forum groups.

Flooding has been a problem in the area for many years due to the existing watercourse system being unable to cope with storm water running off from NE Carterton after heavy rain.

Areas most affected by previous flooding are the road around the BP garage in Brize Norton, the RAF base and the downstream village of Bampton.

A new ditch will divert all but a minimal flow of water, away from the watercourse into an under-used balancing pond owned by Thames Water.

Construction work for a new ditch was given the go-ahead, following agreement with Thames Water giving Oxfordshire County Council consent to use the balancing pond.

Laurence King, Principal Engineer at West Oxfordshire District Council, helped coordinate the project and obtained funding through an Environment Agency grant. He said, “Diverting water into the balancing pond will reduce the flow of storm water in the watercourse and reduce the risk of flooding around Brize Norton, the RAF base and Bampton. Progressing the scheme has involved different organisations and we have worked alongside flood forum groups. I am sure it will be hugely welcomed by local residents and the MOD.”

Cllr David Harvey, West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We hope that this work will help provide protection, and some peace of mind, for those whose homes are most at risk.

“Our Council has taken the problem of flooding extremely seriously and work has been on-going since the terrible floods of 2007 to secure and carry out as much flood protection work as possible in the affected areas across the district.”

Posted : 15/02/2012 13:27:01

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