Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme | Oxfordshire County Council

Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme

The flood alleviation scheme will ease flooding within Oxfordshire.

The Environment Agency are working together with Oxfordshire County Council (Lead Local Flood Authority) along with Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and other organisations and sponsoring groups on the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme.  At this stage the Environment Agency are exploring and testing all viable options to define a technically, environmentally and financially acceptable scheme to reduce the fluvial flood risk in Oxford.

The reason for the scheme is due to the severe flooding Oxford has had over the years more recently; 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Roads, railway lines, schools and businesses were affected and are still at risk of future flooding.

Any downstream impacts shall be fully investigated within the business case prior to any on site works beginning. The scheme is being designed to not impact on any residential properties or communities down stream. The scheme is committed to reduce flood risk in Oxfordshire and not to displace it from one area of the county to another.

The scheme will only move forward once it has had the full business case signed off. As of yet the conveyance channel itself has not been designed.

As part of the key success of the project the Environment Agency's aiming to ensure that any scheme would be as natural, wildlife-rich and attractive as possible.

The scheme provides an opportunity to reduce flood risk whilst supporting local growth and future investment.

Work already undertaken

The supporting works which have been undertaken by the Environment Agency within Oxford already include:

  • Maintenance on the city’s river network.
  • Work with partners to reduce the risk of river flooding to properties.
  • Engineering improvements to the city’s river system.
  • Removal of silt and overgrown vegetation along stretches of the Bulstake Stream, Hinksey Stream, Hinksey Drain and Seacourt Stream.
  • The provision of demountable barriers to reduce flood risk for properties at Osney Island and Hinksey Park.

These works have helped to protect up to 150 properties in the 2014 floods. The Environment Agency also committed to review the longer term options in the strategy, to mitigate flooding on a larger scale at a later date.


The total cost of the scheme is estimated to be over £100 million.

The scheme has attracted a Defra Grant in Aid under the partnership funding approach. There will be a need for contributions from third parties to meet the total scheme cost.

In July 2014 the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership was awarded £26 million towards the project, this was part of a £108.6 million package of growth deal measures. This significant funding contribution towards the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme has greatly assisted in closing the gap on the funding to allow the scheme to go ahead.

Further information

For further information on the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme please see the Oxford and Abingdon policy paper.

Last reviewed
02 December 2015
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