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Banbury Scheme Opened – at last!

Sir Tony Baldry MP for Banbury with the Lord Mayor of Banbury unveiling the commemorative plaque.

Sir Tony Baldry MP for Banbury with the Lord Mayor of Banbury unveiling the commemorative plaque.

 

The project team and sponsors gather at one of the scheme's two large control structures.

The project team and sponsors gather at one of the scheme’s two large control structures.

 

Well it has only taken 11 years of my life to see this scheme on to the ground!

Friday 19th October saw the official opening of the Banbury Flood Alleviation Scheme that I personally started working on back in 2001.

2001 – A Banbury odyssey and all that!

The scheme to protect Banbury has cost £17million pounds to build and at times of flood will store water in a temporary flood storage reservoir on farmland upstream of Banbury slowly releasing it at a rate that will not inundate vulnerable areas of the town.

It sounds simple doesn’t it?

  • Well to build the reservoir we have had to
  • Excavate 200,000 Cubic metres of clay and soil to build an embankment almost 3km long.
  • Move the river in three separate locations
  • Raise 860m of the A361 road
  • Excavate roman farmsteads
  • Protect Historic Battlefields and more modern anti-aircraft emplacements, and
  • Deal both with droughts and floods during its construction!

This last point means the scheme has already been tested. Back in April 2012, even before it was properly finished, a low level flood occurred and thankfully the scheme worked as it was designed to do.

Moving forward we are working with the Environment Agency and Cherwell District Council to help form a new Country Park in the area so it looks like we have a few more years service to complete on this long-running but ultimately very rewarding project!

Stuart – 23rd October, 2012