Dead in the water
The environment Agency should be stripped of its powers, say MPS, who advocate ‘a complete overhaul’ of the flood-risk-management system, with the appointment of a National Floods Commissioner for england and the creation of a new england Rivers and Coastal Authority.
At the beginning of this year, the quango’s chairman resigned under criticism for holidaying in Barbados while northern england battled severe flooding. Further criticism is levelled at the agency for its ‘fragmented, inefficient and ineffective’ arrangements.
Forcing housing developers who ignore regulations to pick up the bill for flood damage and giving farmers incentives to flood fields are among the solutions offered by the committee.
‘In recent years, floods have wrecked properties and destroyed livelihoods from Somerset to North Yorkshire,’ said Neil Parish, chairman of the crossparty panel, who points out that five million people in england alone live in at-risk areas. Last winter saw a record amount of rainfall and Storm Desmond, which hit over Christmas, is estimated to have cost £5 billion. ‘Our proposals will deliver a far more holistic approach to flooding and watersupply management,’ he concludes. grine Bryant, whose restoration of James Wyatt’s enfilade of rooms at Crichel house involved uncovering a dome and reinstating a Venetian window.
examples such as the Wimpole Gothic Tower remind us, says John Goodall, Country Life Architectural editor and judge, that Georgian architecture is not limited to residential property. ‘And just as all composers want to write a Mass, all architects want to design a church,’ he adds.
Indeed, in Berkshire, architect Craig hamilton’s Catholic chapel is proof of the outer reaches of Georgian design. Mr hamilton wanted his chapel to be a ‘temple in the landscape’. every detail, from light fittings and pews to candles and door handles, is harmonious, which ‘helps to imbue the building with a unity of purpose’. A piece of music by Sir James Macmillan, the classical composer and conductor, was commissioned for the chapel’s consecration. Eleanor Doughty
Scotland’s iconic Monarch of the Glen (1851) by Landseer—on loan to National Museums Scotland for the past 17 years and formerly the trademark for Dewar’s and Glenfiddich whiskies—will go under the hammer for the first time in a century, at Christie’s on December 8. There is concern that this ‘romantic emblem of the Highlands’ could go to an overseas bidder