DRAINAGE, PLUMBING & WATER SUPPLY
Mark Manning, business development manager with water infrastructure systems provider, SDS, off ers
practical advice on how to interpret changes to the planning system aimed at driving forward the use of
sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).
A new sense of optimism is in the
air among long-time supporters of
sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)
who have battled to see their more
The government began 2018 with a New Year’s
resolution embodied in its 25 Year Environment
Plan to put more SuDS in place. This was followed
up by confi rmation of revisions to the National
Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), aimed
at reinforcing the requirement for SuDS to be
included in major new developments.
The environmental benefi ts that SuDS deliver
are clear, both in terms of managing fl ood risk
and protecting the receiving water environment
from pollution. Climate change means more
intense storms are likely in future and it makes
perfect sense to manage rainwater sustainably, as
close as possible to the place where it fi rst falls.
So, the changes have been broadly welcomed
BUILDING PRODUCTS | JULY 8
by environmental professionals, but how
should they be interpreted by the developers,
contractors and drainage designers tasked with
A new paragraph in the NPPF requires that
major developments of more than 10 dwellings,
or equivalent commercial or mixed schemes,
should incorporate SuDS “unless there is clear
evidence that this would be inappropriate”.
It also stipulates that SuDS should provide
“multifunctional benefi ts”, where possible.
The revision may be designed to smooth the
path for wider implementation, but could be
seen as a mixed blessing by some developers and
contractors, especially if they have previously
had diffi cult experiences of getting SuDS schemes
through planning. Or, they might be worried
about the commercial implications of the extra
land needed for ponds or swales, and the costs and
complexity of constructing landscaped features.
Above and below-ground devices combine to optimise
drainage effi ciency at the Berewood development, Hants.
Pic Courtesy Grainger plc.