How this homeowner self built a 360ft wall around his home to prevent it being flooded

A field and houses flooded in Worcestershire
A man in Worcestershire built a 360ft wall around his home being constantly flooded (Image credit: Getty Images)

A man who got sick of his home being flooded decided to build a 360ft flood wall around his house.

Nick Lupton, 60, a former engineer, built the reinforced concrete wall around his 17th-century Worcestershire home that lies on a floodplain close to the River Severn after the home had been flooded 11 times in seven years.

He spent four months and had to remortgage his home to afford the wall but he now has a flood proof home that he says has been a "game-changer in terms of comfort and wellbeing".

What was built?

A 7-foot high wall was built around the perimeter of the house as well as flood gates to allow Lupton and his wife, Annie, 50, and a retired gas analyst, to enter and exit.

To address groundwater seepage from underneath the meter-deep concrete foundations, pumps were used for as a drainage system and used within the wall's perimeter.

The construction of the wall was completed in September of last year, and it faced its first challenge in October when flooding occurred. Lupton mentioned that he added this extra layer of defence not only for peace of mind but also to safeguard the 17th-century walls and provide extra surface water drainage.

This additional measure prevents potential damage caused by the pressure of holding back floodwaters, which, if not contained, could have allowed water to permeate through before proper tanking.

Nick said: “Having the wall means we can walk in and out of our front and back doors and walk around the house and not get wet during a flood.

“For our well-being, it is so much more pleasant. When you have water lapping at your door, it’s quite unnerving.”

Why is the home so prone to flooding?

Located on the border of the River Severn in Worcestershire, the residence faces a significant risk of flooding due to its high flood zone classification. 

Since the Luptons acquired the property in 2016, it has endured flooding on 11 occasions. The first instance occurred in 2019, and subsequently, they have encountered at least one flood annually.

When the river's banks burst and overflow comes from the river onto the floodplain, drowning the home.

They were made aware of the home's flooding problems when they purchased the home and a drainage survey and it revealed the home was in flood zone 3a, representing high risk of flooding.

Nick recommends others build flood walls

Nick has encouraged others to install their own flood walls if they are also at risk of flooding, claiming the wall has made his home more attractive to buyers.

He said: “It was quite an undertaking and expense, and I had a couple of local builders help me with it, but where a property lends itself to it, I thoroughly recommend it. It’s been a game-changer in terms of comfort and wellbeing.

"Building the wall, I am sure, has made the property more attractive to a buyer, when we eventually come to sell it in the future.”

Why was planning not needed for the wall?

Normally for walls above 1 metre (3.28 feet) planning permission is required if the wall is next to a road.

However, no planning permission was required for the flood wall for this property.

A spokesperson from Malvern Hills District Council, explained to Homebuilding & Renovating: “In an effort to address concerns related to planning projects within our community, we want to clarify that while we are unable to comment on specific individual cases, several planning projects, such as constructions of walls, some extensions to dwellings and the formation of vehicular accesses, in many cases are considered permitted development which do not require a planning application or any permission from the council."

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.