Farmer fears new homes in Bicester will worsen flooding

Brian Franklin

Brian Franklin Buy this photo

First published in News by

A FARMER has criticised planned development in Bicester and warned it could cause flooding in the future.

Brian Franklin, of Moorlands Farm, Murcott, says, with more than 6,000 homes lined up for Bicester, as well as business parks and a park and ride, there will be nowhere for the water to go.

He claims well-drained land is set for development, while clay-based sites – which do not hold water – are being left, making them vulnerable to flooding.

It comes after the wettest January on record in the South East of England and flooding across the county.

Planning authority Cherwell District Council said applications were “screened” to consider flood risk levels.

Mr Franklin, 68, said: “The land between Bicester and Chesterton has natural drainage. Then you get the clay ground that doesn’t soak anything up. It’s the second grade land that should be built on.

“All around Bicester, you’ve got some of the best land in the country and it’s all going to be covered with concrete.

“Then you are pushing water onto land that never drains.”

Council spokeswoman Jemma Callow said: “In producing plans to identify areas for new development, areas at risk of flooding are normally excluded.

“In addition, the council has commissioned strategic flood risk assessment to ensure the risk of flooding is properly taken into account and does not give rise to risk of flooding.”

Comments (3)

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8:06am Fri 21 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

Planning authorities are in self-denial if they ignore the fact that building on land can and will have an effect uopn drainage - and not just in the direct area of rivers, but for several miles. This is especially true for 'clay vales' like across Oxfordshire. Sadly, in more recent times, the combined 'greed factor' of building on cheaper land in flood plains, and the convenience of relatively flat land for housing and industrial estates, has ignored the age-old ways of avoiding flood plains and low ground. More importantly, for local planning authorities, is the responsibility they have for future generations in ensuring that they don't work in isolation from each other, and don't simply encourage more housing just to boost their revenue income, or to 'grow' commercial business expansion. It becomes like some nightmare 'catch-22' scenario, where more commerce and businesses create more jobs - which, in turn, demands more housing to meet demand, and which then creates more presuure on water management of both rivers and the land itself. Nor can the overt greed of developers and building industry be ignored, whose growth and on-going profits demand a steady stream of new projects to flood the market. Although it is possible to build safely where flooding is likely, and to build with more awareness to the likelyhood of the effects which large numbers of homes will have, doing so can make the selling prices of new homes prohibitive, or could drastically reduces profit levels - especially due to the reduction in housing density where more 'greenspace' and garden areas are incorporated to facilitate better drainage. Probem is that people could be being misled into thinking that 'eco-friendly' housing developments actually include the level of water management and flood-awareness needed, as climate change and more unsettled weather patterns have catastrophically affected many parts of the UK.
Planning authorities are in self-denial if they ignore the fact that building on land can and will have an effect uopn drainage - and not just in the direct area of rivers, but for several miles. This is especially true for 'clay vales' like across Oxfordshire. Sadly, in more recent times, the combined 'greed factor' of building on cheaper land in flood plains, and the convenience of relatively flat land for housing and industrial estates, has ignored the age-old ways of avoiding flood plains and low ground. More importantly, for local planning authorities, is the responsibility they have for future generations in ensuring that they don't work in isolation from each other, and don't simply encourage more housing just to boost their revenue income, or to 'grow' commercial business expansion. It becomes like some nightmare 'catch-22' scenario, where more commerce and businesses create more jobs - which, in turn, demands more housing to meet demand, and which then creates more presuure on water management of both rivers and the land itself. Nor can the overt greed of developers and building industry be ignored, whose growth and on-going profits demand a steady stream of new projects to flood the market. Although it is possible to build safely where flooding is likely, and to build with more awareness to the likelyhood of the effects which large numbers of homes will have, doing so can make the selling prices of new homes prohibitive, or could drastically reduces profit levels - especially due to the reduction in housing density where more 'greenspace' and garden areas are incorporated to facilitate better drainage. Probem is that people could be being misled into thinking that 'eco-friendly' housing developments actually include the level of water management and flood-awareness needed, as climate change and more unsettled weather patterns have catastrophically affected many parts of the UK. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -2

8:57am Fri 21 Feb 14

scampbird says...

I think it's telling that Bicester is set to get 1000 more homes than is planned for Banbury. Where is Cherwell DC based? Oh yes, Banbury. Where is our MP? Oh yes, close to Banbury. Stop using Bicester as the centre for all your half-witted building ideas.
I think it's telling that Bicester is set to get 1000 more homes than is planned for Banbury. Where is Cherwell DC based? Oh yes, Banbury. Where is our MP? Oh yes, close to Banbury. Stop using Bicester as the centre for all your half-witted building ideas. scampbird
  • Score: 1

12:13pm Fri 21 Feb 14

to ny w says...

scampbird wrote:
I think it's telling that Bicester is set to get 1000 more homes than is planned for Banbury. Where is Cherwell DC based? Oh yes, Banbury. Where is our MP? Oh yes, close to Banbury. Stop using Bicester as the centre for all your half-witted building ideas.
What and stifle all those ingenious plans eminating from Bodicote house?

The incredible plan to build 6000 no. code 5/6, or is it now code 4 ( see the A2Dominion draft ''Masterplan'), sustainable homes on Agricultural land at NW Bicester ECO CON, I mean ECO TOWN, is an absolute belter.
[quote][p][bold]scampbird[/bold] wrote: I think it's telling that Bicester is set to get 1000 more homes than is planned for Banbury. Where is Cherwell DC based? Oh yes, Banbury. Where is our MP? Oh yes, close to Banbury. Stop using Bicester as the centre for all your half-witted building ideas.[/p][/quote]What and stifle all those ingenious plans eminating from Bodicote house? The incredible plan to build 6000 no. code 5/6, or is it now code 4 ( see the A2Dominion draft ''Masterplan'), sustainable homes on Agricultural land at NW Bicester ECO CON, I mean ECO TOWN, is an absolute belter. to ny w
  • Score: 0

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