Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

SuDS Principles

Approaches to managing surface water which take account of water quantity, water quality, public amenity and biodiversity issues are collectively referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).

Conventional drainage systems employ underground pipe networks which prevent localised flooding by conveying water away as quickly as possible; they are only effective at managing water quantity (flows and volumes). SuDS are able to manage surface water flows and volumes in open features on the ground surface, whilst also providing benefits to water quality, public amenity and biodiversity. These systems are more sustainable than conventional drainage methods because they:

  • Manage runoff volumes and flow rates, reducing the impact of urbanisation on flooding;
  • Protect or enhance water quality;
  • Are sympathetic to the environmental setting and the needs of the local community;
  • Provide a habitat for wildlife in urban watercourses.

More information regarding SuDS can be found on the Susdrain website.

Legislation Changes and Implications

Under Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water management Act (2010), Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) were to be required to establish a SuDS Approval Body (SAB) which would have required Devon County Council (DCC) to approve, adopt and maintain SuDS features in new developments. However, in December 2014, the Government announced that Schedule 3 would not be enacted because SuDS would be dealt with by strengthening existing planning policy instead. This change, which took effect on 6th April 2015, requires Local Planning Authorities to make the final decision about the suitability of the SuDS provision on new developments and whether it is proportionate to the level of flood risk affecting the site.

Whilst DCC will no longer be required to establish a SAB, we are now a statutory consultee for major developments which have surface water implications. This new responsibility requires us to provide comments in relation to surface water drainage aspects of planning applications, usually within 21 days.

Sustainable Drainage Systems: Guidance for Devon

We advise all applicants intending to submit a planning application for a major development to refer to our Sustainable Drainage Systems: Guidance for Devon document.

When submitting a planning application of this nature, we require applicants to provide a surface water management plan which demonstrates how surface water from the proposed development will be disposed of in a manner that does not increase flood risk elsewhere, in accordance with the principles of SuDS.

 

 

Pre-Application Advice

From 1st October 2018 the Flood Risk Management Team will be offering a pre-application advice service for developers wanting specific sustainable drainage or flood risk advice on major developments. Please see the charging schedule below:

 Type of EnquiryResponseLevel of ServiceSmall Major*Medium Major*Large Major*
A

Free Advice

 

 

Standing advice

Sign posting to web site, DCC SuDS design guide or relevant authority for further information

 

 

 

 

 

Free

 

Free

 

Free

B

Initial Enquiry

 

 

 

 

Written advice

Initial review of a specific site to provide outline information/advice on sustainable surface water drainage requirements and any flood risk issues, relating to Surface Water, Ordinary Watercourses or Groundwater, to be taken into consideration.

 

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee.

 

 

 

 

£150

 

 

 

 

£200

 

 

 

 

£250

 

C

Detailed Review of specific site proposals (Office)

 

 

 

Written advice and meeting at County Hall if required

Review of Surface Water Management proposals. Provide comments and advice on content and attend office based meeting if required.

 

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee.

 

 

 

 

£200

 

 

 

 

£300

 

 

 

 

£400

 

D

Detailed review of specific site proposals

(On site)

 

 

Site meeting (away from County Hall) and written advice

Review detailed Surface Water Management proposals. Provide comments and advice on content and attend site meeting if required.

 

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee.

 

 

 

 

£300

 

 

 

 

£400

 

 

 

 

£500

 

E

Involvement in Strategic Master Planning

 

 

Advice, meetings and written correspondence

 

Provide guidance and advice on the strategic requirements for surface water management and flood risk management, relating to Surface Water, Ordinary Watercourses or Groundwater. Attend office and site based meetings as required

 

 

£42/hr

Total fee to

be agreed

 

£42/hr

Total fee to

be agreed

 

£42/hr

Total fee to

be agreed

F

Additional Correspondence or Meetings

 

Written advice and office/site meetings as required

Provide further advice and guidance over and above the response provided in any of the sections above.

 

 

 

 

 

£42/hr

 

£42/hr

 

£42/hr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(All prices shown above exclude VAT at 20%)

*Clarification of Application Scales

Small Major

Residential development of 10 – 50 properties
Commercial development of 1,001m2 – 10,000m2 floor space

Medium Major

Residential development of 51 – 200 properties
Commercial development of 10,001m2 – 25,000m2 floor space

Large Major

Residential development of over 200 properties
Commercial development of over 25,000m2 floor space

Please note that if an applicant wishes to receive pre-application advice for a minor application they should contact their relevant planning authority in the first instance.  If the applicant wishes to receive pre-application advice from Devon County Council’s Flood And Coastal Risk Management Team we recommend you contact us in advance for the relevant charging information.

Last updated: September 2018

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