Hundreds of people have signed a petition opposing flood defence proposals in Caversham.

The petition from campaigner Paul Goddard has received 430 signatures and will be presented to Reading Borough Council's (RBC) Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport committee today (July 9).

The Environment Agency's (EA) latest design for the multi-million-pound flood alleviation scheme in north Reading includes a combination of flood walls, embankments and temporary flood barriers.

Mr Goddard said the plans will ‘destroy Sandy Park’, a play area in Christchurch Meadows, and be a ‘significant safety hazard’ to children playing in the area.

The petition states: "There has been no reported property damage attributed to the River Thames flooding but the EA are proposing measures that will drastically affect the environment."

Mr Goddard says hedges and trees are under threat from four to 5km walls and hit out at the loss of trees under the plans.

He added: “The proposals appear to be at odds with what is expected of the EA.

“You would think that they would want to protect the environment not destroy it.

“Experts say that we can expect a net loss of water because of global warning and that water storage should be our main goal.

“Finally, it is probable that the funding shortfall will be sought from Reading and Berkshire Councils and we urge that you oppose these EA proposals.”

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Community groups, residents and businesses in Caversham set up Campaign for a Better Flood Alleviation Scheme (CABFAS) in January, calling for proposals with more detail and less environmental impact.

An EA spokesman said: “We are working to reduce flood risk to people and properties in north Reading and Caversham.

“The proposals would reduce the impact of flooding to hundreds of properties as well as preventing disruption to local roads and infrastructure.

“We continue to welcome comments from the community on our proposals.”

A consultation in July 2018 found that 55 per cent of respondents did not want any of the flood alleviation schemes to be pursued.

The EA expect the scheme to lower the risk of a major flood in 12 areas along the Thames in north Reading.

North Reading and Lower Caversham have flooded several times in the past, including the major floods of 1947.

Most recently, in 2012 and 2014, homes and businesses in low lying areas of Caversham flooded.

There is a 0.5 per cent chance of a major flood happening every year, according to the EA.

Further information on the proposed scheme is available here