Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Surface water drainage methods that take account of water quantity, water quality and amenity issues are collectively referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS are a sequence of management practices, control structures and strategies designed to efficiently and sustainably drain surface water, while minimising pollution and managing the impact on water quality.

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
  • encourage natural groundwater recharge (where appropriate).

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

Under schedule 3 of the Flood and Water management Act, Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) were to be required to establish SuDS Approval Bodies (SAB) which would have required DCC to approve and adopt SuDS for new developments. In December 2014, the Government announced that schedule 3 would not be enacted and SuDS would be dealt with by strengthening existing planning policy instead. This change, which takes effect on April 6 2015, requires local planning authorities to ensure that SuDS are included on new developments.

SuDS OkehamptonWhilst, DCC will no longer be required to establish a SAB, we will now become a statutory consultee for major developments which have surface water implications. This new responsibility will require LLFAs to provide comments in relation to surface water drainage aspects of planning applications within 21 days.

Highways authorities will be responsible for maintaining SuDS in public roads to National Standards.

We have produced our DCC SuDS Guidance setting out the local standards for new developments.