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News & Press: Environment News

New Report Highlights Huge Step Change Needed in SuDS Delivery

11 January 2019   (0 Comments)

A new report by the Landscape Institute (LI) and Construction Industry Council (CIC) shows that the delivery of Sustainable Drainage in England is currently a long way behind the ambition. 


Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are an important way of managing surface water runoff in built developments.

Partly or wholly natural in design, SuDS were first introduced to the English planning system in 2010. National Planning Policy for England encourages SuDS in all major developments ‘unless there is clear evidence that this would be inappropriate’. Meanwhile, as of January 2019, SuDS are mandatory in Wales for all new developments over 100m2.


The Report

The LI and CIC’s Report surveyed Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) – who are responsible for flood strategy, including SuDS – across the country. The research aimed to evaluate the current system, and how policy is (or isn’t) leading to successful SuDS schemes on the ground. 

The Headline Findings: 

  • Ninety-six per cent of local authorities report that the quality of planning submissions for SuDS are either ‘inadequate’ or ‘mixed’
  • Twenty-five per cent of local authorities had no formal SuDS policies in place, nor any immediate plans to implement any (as of 2017)
  • Only three per cent of authorities reported receiving adequate information to appropriately assess a planning application for SuDS

The fear is that, as climate change continues to put pressure on our landscapes, these limitations leave communities under threat of surface water flooding. 


The Full Report, Report Summary and Reaction can be found on the Landscape Institute website


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