Layla Moran, Lib Dem candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, has called for a review “as a matter of urgency” after many of the proposed development sites in the Cherwell Local Plan were flooded in recent weeks.
Rowel Brook overflowed during the recent floods, spilling into the field to its south (east of the A44) and heavily inundating the area with water. This is a site proposed for new housing in the local plan. Similarly, the area around the Thames Water pumping station east of Sandy Lane was badly flooded, with local councillor Conrad Copeland describing it as “knee-deep in places”.
The roundabout in Begbroke, and Springhill Road nearby, were also filled with water, as was the field immediately to the south, which again is a site of proposed new housing under the Cherwell Local Plan. Yarnton also saw significant flooding, both on Cassington Road and Church Lane as well as the field to the west of the village.
Moran has said the fact that during the floods water collected on the site of proposed new homes between the Bicester Road and Oxford Parkway rail station “shows how much a review is needed, and for councils to work together.”
The Lib Dem candidate questioned what the point of building so many new homes in the areas was if the risk of flood damage was increasingly high. Moran made a submission earlier this year as part of a hearing on the Cherwell Local Plan, making it clear that the housing proposals were based on out-of-date Government figures of housing need.
Commenting, Layla Moran said:
“The recent flooding in Kidlington, Yarnton and Begbroke in particular shows why we need a review of the Cherwell Local Plan as a matter of urgency.
“I have always been opposed to piecemeal housebuilding on the Green Belt, and the clear significant risk of flooding to these proposed homes shows how much a review is needed.
“This all shows how badly thought through the local plan is. When hundreds if not thousands of homes are going to be built in flooding areas, it becomes clear that something has gone wrong.
“As I have been saying since elected as the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in 2017, I will continue to campaign for the housing need to be reassessed in light of more recent government figures, and for councils to work together. That way we can build the homes we desperately need, whilst protecting our green belt and actually developing housing in areas not likely to flood.”