As of January 7th 2019, schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 will be enacted in Wales. This schedule relates to how Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can be used to deliver multiple benefits, including: flood risk reduction, an improvement in water quality, and enhancing biodiversity.

What does this mean for Wales?

As of January 7th 2019, all proposed new developments that include at least 2 properties or developments over 100m2 in Wales, must include Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). 

All development proposal schemes must comply with the Welsh Ministers’ Standards and will need to be signed off by the new SuDS Approval Bodies (SAB). As such, for any development with construction work that will impact on drainage, will not start before being approved by the SAB.

Furthermore, any new schemes post 7th January 2019 will be required to adhere to the following criteria:

• Water must be managed on or as close to the source of the runoff as possible;

• Pollution is to be prevented and reduced at the source;

• Use of the ‘SuDS management train’ starting with prevention techniques, across a site;

• Avoid, where possible, the requirement for pumping of surface water;

• Be an affordable system in terms of construction as well as maintenance, and include environmental and social benefits. 

How does SuDS work and why is it important?

The idea behind SuDS is to counter the effects of conventional fast flowing drainage systems. These unnatural systems can result in flooding as they increase the rate at which water will reach the natural water systems though piped flow rather than natural infiltration or attenuation of water. 

SuDS try to replicate natural systems to drain away surface water run-off through collection, storage, and cleaning before allowing it to be released slowly back into water courses. There are many different methods for doing this such as Swales, attenuation basins and permeable paving and the best approach for each site will depend on the overall flood risk, nature of the Site and type development. 

This mandatory regulation on new developments will help to move away from traditional below-ground piped drainage infrastructure and single point source attenuation, towards open and green forms of water conveyance, treatment and storage. This commitment will also help deliver our commitment to improve management of our water environment. 

What about current projects? 

The scheme ensures that any existing planning applications or valid registered applications will not require approval from the SAB provided associated conditions and reserved matters are discharged by January 7th 2020.

Five key steps to successful SuDS Schedule 3 implementation:

1. Complete a preliminary sustainable drainage strategy, to enable the drainage requirements to be considered within an initial design plan.

2. Discuss the proposal with your local SuDS Approval Body to outline the initial idea and discuss the possible SuDS features.

3. Create an early and positive working relationship between the architect, landscape designer, and the drainage engineer, to ensure the most suitable SuDS features can be successfully incorporated into the preferred site layout.

4. Carry out appropriate infiltration testing, to provide a best indication of the most beneficial and efficient drainage areas.

5. To avoid delays later on down the process, have a final pre-planning meeting with the SuDS Approval Body, to agree the strategy prior to formal submission.

If you would like more information on Sustainable drainage strategies for your development Sites in England or Wales please contact us at sales@legalinx.co.uk for a free quotation.

Article source: argyll environmental


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