Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.


Technical Briefing: Sustainable Drainage Systems for New Homes – New Arrangements

Date: 26/03/15

Sustainable Drainage Systems for New Homes – New Arrangements

Update to previous briefing papers dated 18/12/14 and 13/03/15

The planning guidance for the implementation of SuDS is now available through the planning practice guidance website along with links to the non-statutory technical standards.

The link to the planning guidance, can be found here:   

The link to the non-statutory technical standards, can be found here:

In December 2014 the Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MPconfirmed details relating to the proposed implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) for new residential developments.

The Secretary of State announced that a new implementation date of 6th April 2015 would apply.

Currently, most house builders undertake a flood risk assessment for proposed developments and measures are put in place to mitigate the risk by use of SuDS etc.

From 6th April 2015 Local Planning Authorities (LPA) will, when considering a planning application relating to major developments (developments of 10 dwellings or more), will be ensuring that sustainable drainage systems are put in place, unless demonstrated to be inappropriate.

Under these ‘new arrangements’ LPAs when considering a planning application should consult the relevant lead local flood authority on the management of surface water. They should satisfy themselves that the proposed minimum standards of operation are appropriate for the development and also ensure that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development. Also the design, maintenance and operation requirements of the SuDs scheme should be ‘economically proportionate’.

There is within the planning guidance a hierarchy of drainage options that should be followed when considering a suitable SuDs scheme for a development. House builders should aim to discharge surface water run off as high up the established hierarchy as is reasonably practicable.

The decision on whether a SuDs scheme is inappropriate in relation to a particular development is a matter of judgment for the Local Planning Authority who will seek advice from the relevant flood risk management body.

The standards in place can be used unless the flood risk assessment requires more demanding measures.

The main difference between existing arrangements and those that will apply from 6th April 2015 is that house builders will now be expected to have their SuDs scheme adopted and maintained and will have to demonstrate this through the planning process.

Within the planning guidance LPA’s are also advised to consult with other related bodies like the relevant sewage undertaker and the environment agency as well as the relevant highway authority. 


Dave Mitchell

Technical Director