Town councillors seek reassurance on flood channel

First published in News

WALLINGFORD councillors are calling for reassurances that the £125m flood relief channel planned for Oxford will not raise river levels downstream.

During the Oxfordshire Flooding Summit held eatlier this month, councils, utility companies and government bodies agreed to work together to fund the project.

The Western Conveyance Channel would carry floodwater around the city during flooding.

But last month Wallingford Town Council raised concerns this could push the problems on to towns downstream on the River Thames by raising river levels faster.

The mayor of Wallingford, Bernard Stone, said: “We want reassurance that anything they do in Oxford won’t have ramifications in Wallingford.

“We will be worried. Wallingford was not actually flooded over the past few months but the water came within millimetres of one or two properties. If they keep pushing the problem further and further down the river it could have an impact on Wallingford.”

Town councillor Stuart Darby said: “It is a very technical project based on modelling but the public needs to have confidence in what they are designing.”

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Environment Agency spokeswoman Narinder Sokhi said the impact at Abingdon is expected to be “negligible”, with a possible river level rise of about 1mm. But any effect in Wallingford is thought to be unlikely.

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