A town is to be protected from flooding after planning permission was granted for new defences to keep water away.
The Environment Agency project aims to prevent a repeat of the 1998 flooding in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
In the event of a heavy rain storm, embankments around the town would disperse water into a floodplain.
The A361 lies within the plain and the scheme was only approved if the county council's highways authority was not held responsible for "unknown risks".
Cherwell District Council granted planning permission subject to a legal agreement with the Environment Agency.
Protect council against costs
Councillor David Robertson, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for transport, told the BBC News website: "The risk of flooding a road like the A361 is unknown and we don't know what would happen or what claims would arise.
"We have to protect the county council against those costs.
"Planning permission has been granted on condition that [the scheme] can't go ahead without the indemnity against risk from the Environment Agency."
He added that a public inquiry would almost certainly take place to assess local reaction to the flood defences.