Major changes are on stream for the implementation of SuDS The Landscape Institute (LI) welcomes the changes to Sustainable Drainage Systems legislation announced on 10 January 2023. Following a review by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural (DEFRA), the government has stated that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) will be made mandatory for new developments, […]

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Major changes are on stream for the implementation of SuDS

The Landscape Institute (LI) welcomes the changes to Sustainable Drainage Systems legislation announced on 10 January 2023. Following a review by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural (DEFRA), the government has stated that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) will be made mandatory for new developments, with implementation from 2024. The government paper, The review for implementation of Schedule 3 to The Flood and Water Management Act 2010, identifies the proposed changes to legislation.

Before the new year, the Landscape Institute (LI) wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister encouraging the implementation of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and ensure SuDS of greater quality were utilised to mitigate the impacts of climate change on new development.

The LI supports the use of more efficient Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to mitigate the growing impact of climate change on the management of storm water as close to its source as possible and to mimic natural drainage and encourage its infiltration, attenuation, and passive treatment, especially in new developments. This new approach to sustainable drainage is intended to reduce flood risk and clean up our waterways in the future.

Implementation of Schedule 3 will reduce the risk of surface water flooding, and pollution, and help alleviate the pressures on our traditional drainage and sewerage systems. It provides a framework for the approval and adoption of drainage systems, a sustainable drainage system approving body within unitary and county councils, and national standards on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of sustainable drainage systems for the lifetime of developments. The approving body for drainage systems is either the unitary authority for the area or if there is no unitary authority, the county council for the area.

Flood and Water Management Act 2010 amendment concerning the revised regulation on SuDS, defines the reasons for improving sustainable drainage.

Sustainable drainage means 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.

In the press release from DEFRA, the Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Taking a more consistent and effective approach to sustainable drainage systems will improve the resilience of our drainage and sewer infrastructure while reaping these broader benefits.”

Flood and Water Management Act 2010 amendment continues, the revised standards must address how drainage systems are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained. Schedule 3 also makes the right to connect surface water runoff to public sewers conditional upon the drainage system being approved, before any construction work can start.

There will be a public consultation later this year, which will collect views on the impact assessment, national standards and statutory instruments.

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