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There are over 500 properties in Abingdon with a 1% or higher annual risk of flooding. Major roads, infrastructure and businesses are also at risk.
In 2008 a footbridge was removed just upstream of St Helen’s Mill, which allowed more floodwater to pass down the River Ock and into the River Thames, reducing risk to properties upstream.
Further flood schemes in Abingdon were not financially viable until recently. Changes to partnership funding rules since 2012 have allowed the project team to explore more funding options and investigate potential schemes.
The project team has investigated several options to reduce flooding in Abingdon. They can only go ahead with a project if it provides sufficient benefits. The St Helen’s Mill flood wall is now complete. Options for the River Ock flood scheme are still being investigated.
The aim of the Abingdon flood schemes are to:
- reduce the number of properties at risk from flooding
- reduce the impact of flooding on essential infrastructure
- reduce the need to deploy temporary flood defences
Estimated costs and funding
The estimated cost for the appraisal, design and construction of the 2 schemes in Abingdon is over £5 million. Funding will come from central government and Vale of White Horse District Council. The St Helen’s Mill scheme was funded from these sources, but additional third-party funding may be required depending on the River Ock flood scheme option.
What happens next?
The project team has updated the hydraulic models for the scheme on the River Ock and is using models to investigate which option or options will have a flood risk reduction benefit in Abingdon. Several projects have been investigated to reduce flood risk including a flood storage area, permanent flood defences, modifying weirs and natural flood management such as land-use change. Once the project team has the results of the modelling it will continue to work with the Abingdon community.
There was also an initial assessment to explore whether there is a viable scheme to reduce flood risk for Swift Ditch, also known as the Abingdon backwater. No viable scheme was identified.
How you can get involved
The project team send out an email newsletter to the local community with updates. If you would like to receive these, please email email@example.com.