FLOOD water is lapping at the edge of a field which will become a power station in the near future, as plans for a similar project nearby have emerged.

South Oxfordshire District Council approved plans for a gas power plant on a field in Wheatley on Wednesday, February 12.

The gas power plant will be built by company Balance Power on a field north of Wheatley’s London Road.

ALSO READ: Oxfordshire could become England's first 'smoke-free' county

While the area of the field set aside for the power plant is on dry land, recent winter storms have led the eastern portion of the same field to flood with water from the River Thames.

Oxford Mail reader Graham Bandridge took photos of the sodden fields from the bridge over the Thames near the fields while travelling into Wheatley, which showed a vast puddle spreading out over onto nearby land from the overflowing river.

Oxford Mail:

Alexandrine Kantor.

Wheatley District Councillor Alexandrine Kantor said: “The technology [of the power station] is needed to fight climate change in transitioning to a more environmental energy mix, but not at all cost.

“This application does not comply with the company requirements, and it is not a suitable site in Wheatley for that.”

This, she said, was because a brochure provided to landowners interested in hosting a power plant on their land specified that land ‘should not be in a high flood risk area’.

The landowner brochure also said Balance Power did not consider building power plants on green belt land, but the Wheatley application is in the Oxford green belt.

ALSO READ: Plans for new Platform 5 bar and cafe near Oxford station

When the application was discussed by SODC’s planning committee last week, parish councillor Toby Newman raised concerns about flood risk.

But in a report to the planning committee, council officers wrote the land on which the power plant will stand is a level 2 flood zone.

This means there is as much as a 1 per cent chance it could flood in any given year, so it is not considered high risk.

Oxford Mail:

The site of the planned power plant marked in red, with the River Thame to the east. Picture: Google Maps.

A similar application for another reserve power plant in Wheatley powered by natural gas, has been submitted to SODC.

This station would be built at Roman Road, near to a series of industrial units and Wheatley’s ASDA.

The proposal, by AMP Energy, would be approximately 400m south of the Balance Power station.

Parish council chairman Doug Lamont said there needed to be ‘proper consideration’ about the effect of different applications to the area.

See the new application at SODC's planning web pages by searching reference P19/S4680/FUL.