SuDs: ‘New Planning Guidance’

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SuDs: ‘New Planning Guidance’

Lewis | May 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

You may recall a blog post we brought you back in March, regarding developments in sustainable drainage systems (SuDs) regulations. If not, click here to give it a read. In a nutshell, though, the developments were in Parliament, referring to the ‘foolhardy’ exemptions to SuDs regulations and plans to scrap them. These exemptions in question were that developments of fewer than ten houses did not have to comply with SuDs regulations, that help stop flash flooding with the requirement of porous surfaces used for the surfaces of any new driveway for front garden paving construction. The issue of permeable paving is a large one, especially when one considers the recent flooding areas of the UK have suffered in recent years and the devastation that it has caused. It isn’t just an issue here, either; the Twitter account for the Royal Horticultural Society recently “re-Tweeted” a photograph posted by Washington State University on the social media website, regarding permeable paving.

We did mention in the previous blog post that when further news surfaced that we will bring you it personally, via another blog post. Well here it is! According to a publication by a Mr. James Bateman from London-based law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, new planning guidance for new homes has been released, which came into force last month, on April 6th, 2015. SuDs regulations will now be implemented on new developments to help increase the figure that only 40% of these developments in the UK are currently compliant. This new guidance does not directly rectify the exemption of ten houses or fewer not having to comply; however improvements in the regulations are evident.

Initially, thanks to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, SuDs were approved before the start of any development by a local authority. This was to help ensure quality of any system used. But they were concerns with further delays to the construction process and the competence of these newly-formed local bodies. Now, however, with this new planning guidance in place:

  • Local Planning Authorities will now deal with SuDs within planning applications, as opposed to a separate entity;
  • Authorities surrounding flood management will now be central to to SuDs in these applications; and,
  • The production of technical standards by the Government in conjunction with the Environment Agency and local bodies to help reduce flood risk and ensure the reliability of SuDs.

This is good news for all involved and hopefully the benefits will be seen in the very near future!