In accordance with national guidance it is a requirement for new development to include Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS). ‘Sustainable Drainage’ is defined within the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 as:
managing rainwater (including snow and other precipitation) with the aim of:
- Reducing damage from flooding,
- Improving water quality,
- Protecting and improving the environment,
- Protecting health and safety, and
- Ensuring the stability and durability of drainage systems.
Appropriately designed, constructed and maintained SUDS should mimic the natural drainage of a site prior to development. This can provide numerous benefits over conventional drainage systems such as improved water quality and the creation of local amenity assets and new wildlife habitats.
There is a wide variety of SUDS components available which can be integrated within any development to suit the constraints of the site, such as:
- Living Roofs
- Infiltration Devices
- Basins & Ponds
Developers should seek to engage a SUDS Design Team, consisting of Drainage Engineers, Landscape Architects and Ecologists, as early as possible at the pre-planning stage to avoid planning delays and potentially abortive work.
It is recommended that the following steps are taken when designing SUDS:
- Site Evaluation
- Confirm local requirements
- Consider site characteristics
- Determine SUDS Philosophy
- Develop conceptual design
- Develop landscape plan
- Submit concept plans for approval
- Prepare detailed design
- Prepare operation and maintenance plan
- Submit final plans for approval
- Construct and inspect.
SUDS Approving Body
Schedule 3 of The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 establishes a SUDS Approving Body (SAB) in Local Government; unitary or county councils. The SAB, once Schedule 3 is enacted, must:
approve drainage systems in new developments and re-developments prior to the commencement of construction, and
Adopt and maintain approved SUDS serving more than one property which satisfy the following conditions:
- The drainage system was constructed in pursuance of approval, and
- The drainage system was constructed , and functions, in accordance with the approval,
SAB fees will be chargeable at the planning application stage and are anticipated to operate on a sliding scale based upon the site area with a minimum charge of £350.