THE couple hoping to reopen South Hinksey’s General Elliot pub after five years have been told their flood risk assessment (FRA) was not good enough.

Helen and Cass Hazlewood, who live in the village, bought the pub lease from Vale Breweries saying they wanted to revitalise it.

Since the Hazlewoods acquired the lease, work has begun to refurbish the building.

As well as running the Elliot as a country pub and restaurant, the couple are planning to offer eight “short let” studio rooms.

But the Environment Agency (EA) has said their FRA “failed to consider the effect of flooding events on people and property”.

Planning adviser Ashley Maltman commented on the Hazlewood’s planning application to Vale of White Horse District Council.

He wrote: “The development proposed is inappropriate for the Flood Zone it is located within.

“Given the nature of flooding in this area we consider that flood risk at the site has not been satisfactorily addressed or determined.”

The pub is in a floodplain meaning this type of development is not recommended.

Mr Maltman criticised the couple for not supplying an evacuation route for guests and residents in the case of a flood.

Homes in South Hinksey have been flooded in recent years by the overflowing Thames.

During February’s floods, soldiers from Dalton Barracks helped the EA put up a 600-metre wall of concrete blocks around the village to protect it.

The General Elliot, which won Oxford CAMRA’s pub of the year award in 2007 and 2008, closed in 2009 after the landlord left.

Since then, residents have fought several attempts to redevelop the site for residential use, with the last application to build houses on its car park withdrawn by the agent in August 2013.

It is understood the Vale’s original target decision date for the Hazlewoods’ planning application, August 1, has now be extended to allow the couple to prepare a new FRA.

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