Design ‘beautiful’ flood defences

Oliver Letwin wants more thought given to the appearance of flood barriers


Mr. Letwin drew up the National Flood Resilience Review, which was published in September, after years of extreme floods in Somerset, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

Letwin said there has been “a terrible tendency” to treat flood barriers as an after-thought and only added at a higher cost when an area has already been drenched.

He hold the opinion that “We should not see flood defences anymore, in an urban context, as something you graft on and that adds cost, but rather something that is built in which is beautiful, viable- indeed highly saleable and desirable- but also resilient” and it further “increases value because people actually like it”.

To achieve this, local authorities should take a leaf out of schemes overseas and ask architects to come up with “beautiful” flood defences, said Letwin.