Plans to build a £29m home for one of the country’s most important collections of books have been put on hold after river water flooded parts of Oxford near the proposed site. Financial Times

City councillors meeting this week decided to defer a decision on the plan after floods wreaked havoc in Osney Mead, where the University of Oxford hopes to get permission to build a depository for 7.8 million books.

There are fears over the safety of the many rare volumes it would hold and concerns that the building would exacerbate future floods by forcing water to flow elsewhere.