Ox-Cam Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder Project

Project Logo

The Ox-Cam Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Pathfinder Project aims to increase the effective uptake and awareness of PFR across the seven local authority areas.

Flooding presents an increasing risk to many people living and working across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc region.

Due to intense and prolonged rainfalls, we have seen robust defences overtopped or damaged and furthermore, according to Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, winter rainfall is set to increase by almost 60% by 2050*.

Installing flood resilience measures to new builds and existing properties will enable recovery to happen in just a matter of days instead of months, should a significant flood occur.

As one of three DEFRA-funded national pathfinder partnerships, the Ox-Cam Property Flood Resilience (PFR) project will be supporting communities across the area in understanding the advantages of PFR.

We demonstrate the active steps that can be taken to make homes, businesses, or other property resilient to flooding. 

Working with partners and communities, including insurers, construction and property businesses, our focus is to promote a greater understanding of the actions that can be taken to minimise damage from flood waters.

Project Partners and Steering Group

Led by North Northamptonshire Council, we are delighted to be working in conjunction with Lead Local Flood Authorities from the following:

Cambridgeshire County Council
Northamptonshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Buckinghamshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council
Milton Keynes Council
Luton Borough Council
Peterborough City Council

Other key project partners include: The Environment Agency (EA) regional teams in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Brampton and Thames, RFCC’s (Anglian Central, Northern and Thames), Anglian Water, Thames Water and the DEFRA PFR Roundtable.

Introducing the Floodmobile

A key aim of the Pathfinder Project is to engage productively with communities and industry to provide practical, hands-on guidance and advice on property flood resilience.

Our specially commissioned ‘Floodmobile’ interactive demonstration vehicle provides examples of over 50 practical measures, from pumps and barriers, to air bricks, flood doors and non-return valves – and much more.

The Ox-Cam PFR Floodmobile brings to life just what is possible in any home or business premises, and offers us the chance to talk directly to those concerned about flooding.

During 2021, we plan to visit at least ten high risk communities across the Arc region; a schedule of events and activities will be published soon. In the meantime, an interactive 360-degree virtual tour is available to view below. For further information on the Floodmobile contact Kate.McLaren@westnorthants.gov.uk

Demonstration Property

We are working with PFR manufacturers and specialists to create a demonstration property at HR Wallingford. It will be fitted with a range of PFR solutions to provide a live showcase for what a PFR property looks like

We look forward to launching a Professional Service Hub and a Virtual Hub to provide training to bespoke audiences within industry.

For us, we want to be the ‘one-stop-shop’ that Ox-Cam Arc communities, businesses and residents can rely on for vital PFR information.

For any enquiries regarding the project please contact PFR.NCC@northnorthants.gov.uk

For news and event updates from the Ox-Cam PFR Pathfinder Project follow us on Twitter. @oxcamPFR

Ox-Cam PFR Pathfinder Project funders

Work Package 1: Inspiring Behavour Change

Delivery of this workstream will be in three distinct elements; engagement with communities, engagement with businesses and engagement with the wider industry.

Nine different communities across the Ox-Cam region have been selected for community engagement event. Following an initial baseline survey of PFR in the area in Jun 2020, PFR demonstration and education events will be held once possible and then a final survey will be done to analyse the impact of the event. A mobile PFR demonstration vehicle (The Floodmobile) will be used to support the community engagement work and showcase PFR measures available.

Old Amersham, Dunstable and Wellingborough are the three chosen locations for engagement with SME’s and local businesses.

The wider industry engagement will include Builders Merchants and Hardware stores, Insurers, Developers and Local Planning Authorities.

Work Package 2: Demonstration Property

Workstream 2 involves constructing a demonstration property at HR Wallingford which would house and showcase both resilience and resistance PFR measures throughout and have the ability to be flooded also. This would be open to the general public, as well as businesses and the wider industry to visit for the duration of the PFR Project, and moving forward into the future.

Work Package 3: Professional Services Hub

The Professional Services Hub will be delivered through three mechanisms, given the size and extent of the Ox-Cam Arc region. These are:

  1. Demonstration Property at HR Wallingford
  2. Virtual Hub
  3. Pop-up Hubs

PFR training based on the new CIRIA Code of Practice will be undertaken at HR Wallingford for the wider industry. A new website will be created to house all the learning from the Ox-Cam PFR Pathfinder Work Packages and provide and act as a one-stop shop for general enquiries that can be answered through static information and visuals.Work is continuing to identify possible locations for PFR Pop-up Hubs throughout the Ox-Cam Arc, which would be opened for set periods of time to allow local residents and businesses access to see properties with PFR measures installed, and gain first-hand experience from occupiers/owners on how these have worked.

Work Package 4: Local Choices Framework

This work package will be delivered in-house by the LLFAs involved in the project and will work closely with the Environment Agency area teams to help identify any additional data/information they hold on PFR properties in the region. We will also seek to work with the water companies covering the region to seek additional information on any properties they have worked with; ensuring all information shared complies with GDPR.

Work Package 5: Project Evaluation

Project Level evaluators have been appointed to ensure adherence to the project’s scope and objectives. Three surveys will be carried out with communities to scope any change in uptake of PFR measures, along with evaluation reports throughout the project. Key lessons learnt will be captured as well as any key case studies identified throughout the Project.