AN urgent review into where houses should be built in north Oxfordshire is being called for after flooding across the district.

Three candidates in today's General Election have called for Cherwell District Council to reassess its Local Plan after proposed development sites in Yarnton, Begbroke and Kidlington were all flooded last month.

In Begbroke, which is west of Kidlington, Rowel Brook overflowed, spilling into the field to the south (east of the A44) and heavily inundating the area with water.

Also read: Village road 'like a river' due to flooding

Similarly, the area around the Thames Water pumping station in Yarnton, east of Sandy Lane, was badly flooded, and the roundabout in Begbroke and Springhill Road nearby were also filled with water.

The field immediately to the south was submerged in water and Yarnton saw significant flooding both on Cassington Road and Church Lane as well as the field to the west of the village.

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Land between Bicester Road and Oxford Parkway Station was affected, too, and these are all green belt sites where housing has been proposed under the Cherwell Local Plan.

Layla Moran – Liberal Democrat candidate for the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, which covers Kidlington and surrounding villages – urged the council to reassess its plan 'as a matter of urgency'.

She 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.

Also read: Village road 'impassable' due to 'severe flooding'

“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.”

Green Party candidate for Banbury, Ian Middleton, said the flood concern was raised to Cherwell District Council while it identified development sites, but ‘fell on deaf ears’.

He said: “This area regularly floods and this was pointed out to Cherwell District Council on numerous occasions but fell on deaf ears as did so many of the practical objections to Cherwell's plans from local residents who have been blithely disregarded by them.

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“There's a reason why there's a Thames Water pumping station there and huge drainage culverts in the adjacent fields.”

He also pointed out that the area proposed was part of the council’s ‘green corridor’ plans which aims to compensate for concreting over the rest of the area.

Mr Middleton added: “[It] is basically a cynical and prosaic term for a 50-metre-wide strip that will be all that is left of the green belt when they've finished with it. It's an utter joke and shows just how much consideration the 'Concreting Conservatives' on Cherwell District Council really care about the environment and climate change.”

In August, Merton College, which owns land where Rowel Brook lies, cut down a large part of the boundary hedgerow running along the path to the Thames Water pumping station.

Mr Middleton, who is also on Yarnton Parish Council, says destroying this 'natural flood protection' may have contributed to the flooding which he says was worse this year.

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Cherwell district councillor Sean Woodcock said Labour would like to see a review of the plan too.

He went on: "We support a review of the sites allocated for housing around Kidlington so that the 4,400 extra to accommodate housing need are in the most sustainable and suitable places to provide genuinely affordable housing for local people."

Labour candidate for Banbury Suzette Watson said: "I am in favour of reviewing the local plan in light of recent flooding, and the larger problem of environmental breakdown and climate emergency.

"Housing must be fully re-examined in light of this, and balanced against the urgent need for green social housing."

Also read: Campaigners say 'we told you so' as Seacourt Park and Ride site floods

Conservative candidate for Banbury Victoria Prentis has previously said that she is also opposed to building on the green belt.

She told this paper: "We are trying very hard not to build on Green Belt sites and I am definitely against that.

"Many of these are really beautiful areas and it is important that we do not lose them."

Cherwell District Council was approached for comment.