President Sue Illman deplores delays to flood and SUDS legislation
Speaking in a week when the country had suffered more devastating floods, Illman said, ‘And the floods keep happening. With SUDS fluvial floods will still happen, but we can deal with pluvial floods.’
The act. which was written in 2010 but is now not expected to come into law until April 2014. – or later – requires SUDS systems to be able to deal with a one in 100 years flood. One of the reasons for delays, Illman believes, is due to lobbying from the manufacturers of hard SUDS solutions who argue that softer, landscape-based solutions will not be effective.
‘Up to certain levels of development a soft solution can work,’ Illman said. ‘If it is more intense then you will need a hard solution. I really don’t see that there is a conflict.’
She is particularly concerned that the delay to the act is also delaying the adoption by local authorities of some roads that are adjacent to open spaces. ‘If they are built to approved SUDS standards, then local authorities have to adopt them,’ she said. ‘Until we have the act in place, nobody will adopt these roads.’
Illman said ‘I had hoped that the act would become law by April 2013, but now it looks as if April 2014 is the earliest date.’ By requiring the use of SUDS in new developments it will, she says, stop the flooding problems in the country getting worse. ‘But it is only if we retrofit existing developments as well,’ she said, ‘that the situation will get better.’