Optimise land use with early drainage strategies

From April 2015 all major new developments need Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) for the management of run-off. Motion’s Director Jerry Muscroft says, “The long term impact and requirements of maintaining SuDS need to be established at an early stage of the project. Early consultation with the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is becoming vital to determine their requirements and to devise a suitable scheme that is as economical to design and build as it is to maintain.”

The development or redevelopment of a site changes the amount of impermeable surfaces through the introduction of buildings, roads and hard standings. This impacts on the drainage of rainwater from the developed surfaces. SuDS mimic pre-developed green field runoff rates. They can manage the flow rate and volume of run-off, improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.

Implications for developers
– All major developments, defined as having ten houses or more, or the equivalent non-residential development, need SuDs.
– The LLFA has replaced the Environment Agency and is now the statutory consultee on applications for surface water management of developments over one hectare in flood zone 1. The EA still assesses flood risk and SuDS in critical drainage areas.
– Local Planning Authorities are required to ensure appropriate SuDS are provided on development sites and that suitable arrangements have been established for their continued ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development.
– Developers need to secure the adoption of SuDS by the water and sewerage company, Local Authority or through establishing a company to manage these systems.

Jerry reflects, “SuDS are now a regular feature in development masterplanning. Permeable surfaces, swales, infiltration devices, retention ponds and attenuation facilities can be incorporated into proposals at an early stage to make the best use of land.”

To understand how SuDS could affect your development, email Jerry Muscroft at jmuscroft@motion.co.uk.

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of Insight.

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