sustainable drainage

expected to provide details of the drainage strategy early on in the design and planning phase, and need to demonstrate why infiltration SuDS are not appropriate if they want to rely on discharge to the existing drainage network. If this is not considered early in the development process it may have a significant impact on how the final scheme design, costs and future maintenance liabilities turn out. SuDS shouldn’t be seen as a restriction to development and can prove

attractive to buyers through improved community amenity. Information on the suitability of infiltration SuDS and outline drainage strategy is readily available and affordable to support pre-planning and outline design phases of development. The key is not to try and retrofit SuDS into an

already planned site to satisfy planning or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) conditions. This can lead to inefficient design and ultimately more cost. Who adopts the SuDS maintenance is critical

to resolve at the start of the development process – so that the local authorities, maintenance company, residents or water company have the long term

“SuDS shouldn’t be seen as a restriction to development and can prove attractive to buyers through improved community amenity”

48 | HMM March 2017 |

resources to maintain it. Verify your site suitability

The Local Authority SuDS Office Organisation (LASOO) are the owners and writers of the guidance which sits alongside the Non-Statutory Technical Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems. In the guidance, they advise: “It is highly

recommended that pre-application discussions take place before submitting an application to the local planning authority. Ideally, these discussions should start at the land acquisition due diligence stage and continue as part of the pre-planning application process.” Developers frequently cite land constraint as the most common reason for not doing SuDS. However, our own data shows that the majority of land in England and Wales is suitable for infiltration of surface water via SuDS. With a multitude of attenuation SuDS options now available, there are very few sites, even where space is limited, for which a SuDS option is not achievable at reasonable cost. SuDS should be considered in the early

stages of design and planning and also when buying land for any future development. Land owners, developers and institutions require clear advice at the earliest stage in the process as SuDS can have a significant impact on the development proposal. SuDS can have a very positive impact on a development and land value, but it is advised to consider this early and avoid surprises later.

Stuart Pearce is managing director at GeoSmart Information.

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