WAVES measuring up to a metre high are set to hit a business park near Wallingford.

But this has nothing to do with an impending flooding disaster – instead they are being deliberately created at a special new building at the Howbery Business Park.

The £3m building operated by hydraulic engineering firm HR Wallingford will be home to its F3 Fast Flow Facility which is capable of holding up to a million litres of water, equivalent to filling 12,500 average sized baths.

HR Wallingford director Keith Powell said: “It is an extremely exciting time as our new facility will significantly increase our modelling capabilities, helping us to extend our lead in the renewable energy and maritime sectors.”

As well as the waves it will be able to create currents of more than one metre per second.

The facility will also house a Ship Simulation Centre to allow testing of different sea conditions on vessels.

HR Wallingford has grown strongly in the last three years with staff numbers rising to 300 from 250.

The new development, built by Kier Construction, includes environmentally friendly features such as a permeable paving system which helps to alleviate flooding by allowing groundwater to disperse naturally rather than through a piped drainage system into the river.

John Ormston, chief executive of Howbery Business Park, said: “HR Wallingford has been based at the park since 1962 and has become a world-renowned civil engineering and environmental hydraulics company.

“The Howbery community is very much looking forward to sharing in its continued success.”