PEOPLE will be able to have their say on Oxfordshire County Council’s plans to reduce the risk of flooding after its draft strategy was approved yesterday.
The county council has new powers on flooding issues which means it has to put together the strategy by October. A public consultation is now set to start.
It means that developers wanting to build 10 homes or more will have to submit sustainable drainage plans, which must be approved before work can begin.
The draft strategy was approved at yesterday’s meeting of the county council’s cabinet, but concerns were expressed about whether Thames Water was on board with the scheme.
During January’s floods Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood called for pressure to be put on water companies as residents faced foul water flooding because of sewers being unable to cope.
The strategy includes:
Encourage sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) to reduce the potential downstream impact of new and existing developments for surface water.
Encourage self-help and understanding of flooding issues among people who own land which meets a stream or river, particularly knowledge of the law.
Use information from past flood events when working with other organisations to decide on which schemes should be built and how money is best spent on flood alleviation schemes.
At yesterday’s meeting county councillor John Sanders, the shadow cabinet member for the environment, said: “I am concerned about Thames Water. As one of the contributors to this system what assurances does the council have that it will co-operate?”
Under the new system, the county council has become the lead local flooding authority while district councils and the Environment Agency have a duty to “act consistently” with the strategy. Water companies, which are private bodies, must only “have regard” to it.
Rodney Rose, the deputy leader of the county council, said: “We don’t have any powers over Thames Water I am afraid, but we are getting into much greater discussion with them and they are showing more interest in helping us.”
Mark Kemp, the council’s deputy director for environment and economy, said the strategy has been put together with Thames Water and the Environment Agency.
As part of its strategy, the council is proposing to encourage sustainable drainage systems, such as ponds and swales, to reduce a development’s impact on flooding.
District councils can grant the planning permission, even if the development does not comply with the county council’s strategy.
However, developers cannot physically enact that permission until the county council has given its approval to the drainage proposals.
The council is also hoping to encourage parish councils to put together flood strategies.
The Oxford Mail contacted Thames Water, but it had not responded at the time of going to press.
The full report:
Our top stories:
7:00am Friday 4th September 2015
FRIENDS and the emergency services made “heroic” efforts to try to save an Oxford teenager on the night he drowned, a coroner said yesterday.
8:30am Friday 4th September 2015
HUNDREDS are expected to attend a demonstration in Oxford this weekend against the UK Government’s stance on refugees.
8:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A MAN who killed his 26-year-old friend by speeding near North Leigh was jailed for a year yesterday.
8:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A “BOISTEROUS and bouncy” dog who “gets a bit psychotic” when he sees a vet has been stuck in an Oxfordshire rehoming centre for eight years.
6:30am Friday 4th September 2015
EVERY school in the county should be part of an Oxford Mail-backed literacy campaign, organisers have said.
6:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A ‘CHILL-OUT’ space for teenagers, a coffee shop and a computer room should be provided as part of a new West Way community hub., residents say.
6:30pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 23-year-old man has been jailed for a year following the death of Long Hanborough man Richard Reed in a car crash last year.
8:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN 880-PUPIL free school in Oxford has been hailed as the beginning of a new solution to the county’s shortage of places.
5:06pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A JUDGE has postponed sentencing a designer clothing firm over health and safety failures that led to a four-year-old boy being crushed by a 7ft mirror.
5:00pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A WOMAN who found a hidden camera in the shower of a hotel says she feels disgusted by the incident.
3:28pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 34-year-old man has been arrested for aggravated burglary and criminal damage.
1:10pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A BURST pipe in Banbury is gushing water onto Broughton Road.
1:01pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A CYCLIST hit a driver with his helmet after a road rage incident near Wallingford.
12:45pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A radio was stolen from Wilko in Banbury and food and alcohol was taken from a Co-Op in town.