SCORNED villagers have branded a flood investigation by the Environment Agency a 'colossal waste of time' as it's thrown out over funding.

For several years, villagers in Wendlebury near Bicester have feared historic flooding that once caused serious problems for households close to Wendlebury Brook.

Investigations from the Environment Agency has even proved more than 30 homes are 'at risk' of flooding, 13 of those 'very significant;y'.

But now, despite years of research, the Environment Agency has said 'investigations demonstrated that there is no scheme for Wendlebury that is viable according to the current cost-benefit rules '. This excludes house moderations that residents can make.

Wendlebury Parish clerk Jane Olds, in a letter to the Environment Agency, said: "The village now feels like the project was a colossal waste of everyone's time and effort as it was suddenly dismissed out of hand."

She said the problem goes back as far as October 2012 when major floods struck Wendlebury, as the village brook burst its banks causing 'serious' issues.

At the time, villagers were told that the Environment Agency was seeking funding to investigate solutions to reduce the flood risk.

In the years that followed the agency worked alongside homeowners in the village to look at the risk, plus a survey in which the parish council said it 'was anxious' to find out the findings and potential improvements.

But the letter to the Environment Agency claims villagers had heard little from the investigators since.

In an apology on behalf of the Environment Agency chief executive James Bevan to the parish council, he admitted there was no 'viable scheme' to help the village and said sorry for the slow response.

A project update said there have been eight floods in the village in the past 17 years, and as such 34 homes are at risk.

This includes 13 at 'very significant risk', 12 homes at a 'significant risk', and nine 'moderately' at risk.

It said any solutions to ease the problem would fall outside the current cost-benefit rules that it is to work within - apart from Property Level Resilience.

It looked at the possibility of a 1km bypass channel, upstream flood storage, removal of pinch points.

The only solution the Environmental Agency put forward was the potential to look at mitigation measures that houses could implement.

This includes flood gates, air brick covers, or garden flood walls.

It offered to work with the parish council to discuss such possibilities.

Wendlebury Parish Council will speak about the most recent agency response tonight at a meeting at the Village Hall from 8pm.

The correspondence is part of the agenda at