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Construction | Osney Lock Hydro


Need further information?

If you have a query relating to construction not answered on this site, please call the information line on 07713 513 875 or email your query via our contacts page.
For information relating to closures, restrictions and conditions on the River Thames please go to the Environment Agency’s website.

To receive construction update emails, please sign up using the form to the right of this page.


Project overview

Construction at the site will result in three key outcomes

  • A 49kW community-owned hydro scheme, generating around 159,000 kWh of green electricity each year.
  • A fish pass to enable fish to migrate upstream, at a point currently impassable to fish.
  • The refurbishment of Weir A and B. As well as improving health and safety when operating the weirs, the new walkway over Weir A will be to Disability Discrimination Act standards, and finer control of water levels will be available at Weir B. You can read more about the refurbishment project here.

The construction of the hydro scheme and Weir B is being carried out under partnership between Osney Lock Hydro and the Environment Agency. By combining forces we aim to reduce disruption to local residents and river users.

Provisional timetable of works

Phase 1 June to July

Civil engineering works for base of hydro and Weir B

3 June Work on site commences

July Construction of cofferdam – provisional start date: Monday 8 July.

It is anticipated that the pile-driving will take around two weeks (10 working days) Pile-driving works are currently scheduled to take place during weekdays between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm. However, we must stress that this is only an estimate based on anticipated conditions and could be affected by a number of factors.

Overall working hours are 7.30-6.00 Monday to Saturday.

Phase 2 July to October

Works to replace Weir B

Phase 3 October to December

Environment Agency works to Weir A

Phase 4 December to February

Installation of generation equipment and construction of powerhouse.

14 February 2014 Provisional date to switch on generation

Phase 5 Creation of a new public space

Once building work is complete, work can start on landscaping the site. As well as creating a new public open space by the Thames, a native planting scheme has been proposed to enhance local biodiversity. You can download the provisional plans for the site here.


Here is the update letter distributed to local residents, 3 June 2013

Dear Neighbour,

As you probably know, West Oxford Community Renewables was granted planning permission for construction of a micro-hydro at Osney Lock, and has since established a new organisation, Osney Lock Hydro, to manage fund-raising, the construction of the project and the hydro’s operation once it has been built.

We’ve now raised the money we need through the fantastic response of local people plus supporters elsewhere in Oxford and in the county, as well as a number further afield; we’ve signed contracts and, after all these years in the preparation and planning, work is about to start.

We want to keep you fully informed about the progress of the project, and we will provide several channels of communication, including our website www.osneylockhydro.org.uk newsletters, community notice-boards, hoardings around the construction site, and an information line.

Inevitably and regrettably the construction work will have an impact on local people and we, our contractors and the Environment Agency will take whatever measures we can to minimise any nuisance. The first manifestation of the work will involve bringing a crane down Bridge Street, and residents will be notified in advance as cars will need to be parked elsewhere while the crane travels to the site. Then, from 17th June [please note the start date has now changed since the issuing of this letter] between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm, piling work will be undertaken to create the coffer dam that is needed for both the hydro’s civil engineering work and the Environment Agency’s work on Weir B (the weir at the site of the hydro; this maintenance work has been planned for some time and the construction of the hydro has to fit in with the Environment Agency’s schedule for the work).

We know that the noise of pile-driving can be intrusive, and we are therefore making arrangements for places of refuge from the noise. Quiet rooms will be made available nearby during the duration of the pile-driving activity and further information will be provided on the website or by emailing us.

We hope the knowledge that the construction work will result in a valued asset for the community will go some way to mitigate any inconvenience.

The Osney Lock Hydro team

Please note that the timing we gave in the letter for the pile-driving work should have said 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. We apologise for this error.