MANY people will say they are ugly.

But in a wet winter as the water levels rise they may be thankful these new shiny gates are there.

The city council has just completed a £1.6 million scheme for flood defence work in the city centre.

These gates are on the Itchen streams at Durngate and are designed to block high water levels coming into the city.

They will allow the water levels to be better controlled giving more flexibility to the emergency managers trying to prevent a major inundation as nearly happened seven years ago.

The scheme stems back to 2014 when the city came close to disaster from flooding. Only the deliberate flooding of fields upstream at Easton to ease the pressure downstream stopped the city centre from being inundated. The Royal engineers also put down temporary barriers at North Walls park, Park Avenue and along North Walls to keep the flood water back.

The climate crisis means that extreme weather events will become more common.

A city council spokesman said this week: “The Durngate flood alleviation scheme was completed on schedule and the system will be in play as soon Hampshire County Council has granted the permission for it to be used – a formality in the planning process.”

The scheme provide three new sluice gates on the remaining uncontrolled channels of River Itchen.

It completes the network of defences across the north of the city to help to control flooding, including the historic City Mill.