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FLOODING: Latest crisis will not stop Botley Road developments
5:00pm Saturday 15th February 2014 in News
PLANS for two major developments for Oxford’s Botley Road area have not been affected by flooding, according to developers.
Despite Botley Road flooding last month and being threatened by rising water levels again this week, both Doric – which is redeveloping West Way shopping centre – and Waitrose – which wants a store in Botley Road – say it has not affected their proposals.
Doric is leading a £100m regeneration of Botley’s shopping centre, which includes a superstore.
Simon Hillcox, of Doric Properties, said: “We’ve carried out a flood risk assessment and concluded there are no substantive flood issues with our plans, including the car park.
“Even at the height of the flooding, Botley remained accessible to shoppers despite the Botley Road being closed due.
“There is no reason why that should change.
“We have had detailed discussions with Thames Water which has been very positive about our plans.
“We’ve proposed extensive areas of green roofs planted with sedum (a flowering plant), permeable paving and underground storage tanks, all of which will absorb and slow water flow and regulate drainage.
“These measures will improve the drainage compared to the current shopping centre and will reduce pressure on the sewer network.”
Waitrose has submitted plans to Oxford City Council to demolish the former MFI and Halfords buildings in Botley Road for a new supermarket.
The development will bring 160 jobs and the council aims to make a decision by March 11.
Waitrose spokesman James Armstrong said: “Our proposal is designed to increase flood water storage to what is currently on site.
“We are committed to progressing our planning application but will continue to work closely with the Environment Agency to ensure the appropriate mitigation is in place.”
Chris Church, of the West Way Community Concern group, is worried by the number of flats proposed by Doric and with underground streams in the West Way area. He said: “We will study the environment impact assessment and flood assessment carefully.”
Botley resident Grant Nightingale said of the West Way plans: “It is such a big development. There is a question of drainage from that.”
Of Waitrose he added: “I don’t think that would add to flooding as they are using an existing site.”
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