A FORMER boatyard manager says the Environment Agency has agreed to discuss his flood prevention plan after it was featured in the Oxford Mail.

Tom Ballance, from Binsey, contacted the agency to suggest they reinstate the causeway at Godstow Lock and look at the feasibility of using the A34 as a flood barrier. He said the road could be used as a dam by installing sluice gates underneath.

The agency confirmed it will review the Seacourt Stream, Bullstake Stream and Osney Ditch underpasses where they cross Botley Road and remove the most significant obstructions.

Barry Russell, Environment Agency flood risk management operations manager, will meet Mr Ballance once the latest flooding is over.

Mr Ballance, 56, said: “Due to media coverage, the Environment Agency has contacted me regarding my proposals.

“They have now made a commitment to clearing out the underpasses under Botley Road and we look forward to progress in this area, subject to flood conditions.

“They have also made a commitment to meet me to discuss the remaining two issues in the near future.”

But a statement from the Environment Agency said of Mr Ballance’s A34 flood barrier idea: “Road embankments are not designed to be impermeable or withstand the pressure of the many millions of cubic metres of water that would need to be retained as a flood storage area.

"To do so would place the communities living downstream at an unacceptable risk of breach, with devastating consequence.”