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SocEnv join call for the Government to implement 2010 flooding law

We have joined 40 other bodies urging the Govt to implement law on SuDS, to counter growing flood risk and sewage pollution. Image credit: Susdrain

[Original source: CIWEM]

A little-known piece of legislation which Ministers have repeatedly resisted implementing since 2010 should finally be brought into effect in the face of growing flood risk and sewage pollution, more than 40 expert bodies, academics and delivery organisations told Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a letter on Tuesday.

The group represent expert bodies in town and country planning, construction, drainage, water and environmental management and landscape architecture. They are joined by organisations representing water companies, water customers, environmental NGOs and leading academics in the field.


Flood and Water Management Act

The Flood and Water Management Act was passed into law in 2010 after serious flooding in the summer of 2007 left 55,000 properties under water and more than half a million without power and mains water.

Yet Schedule 3 of the Act prescribing sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in new developments was never implemented. Ministers feared the standards and approach it prescribed would hold back the pace of housing delivery and repeatedly resisted taking it forward.

These concerns are misplaced, the signatories argue: SuDS are not difficult to design or build, just different. If incorporated into plans from the outset SuDS can be cheaper to build and manage because they’re not buried underground. And over the decade since the Act was passed the climate, pollution and nature-decline pressures SuDS can manage have ramped-up fast.

SuDS were recognised as delivering crucial and wide-ranging benefits in new developments all the way back in 2010. Since then, backward thinking and policies have meant more than 1.5 million new homes have been built in a way which doesn’t manage water well. Meanwhile, climate change-driven extreme weather advances and sewers are full to overflowing. More than a decade on, it’s time government acknowledged what was known in 2010 and finally brought this piece of law into effect.

Terry Fuller
CIWEM Chief Executive
Read the full letter via the CIWEM website