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GROUND REINFORCEMENT 43


t’s been almost two years since the Government chose to abandon dedicated requirements for SuDS on new developments using the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act. Instead, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires sustainable drainage on new developments of 10 or more dwellings in England, and SuDS are also demanded elsewhere in the UK. In addition, existing NPPF prioritisation of SuDS in areas of flood risk, and requirements that develop- ments should not make flood risk worse elsewhere (effectively by utilising SuDS), still apply to developments of any scale. The onus for implementation has now moved to local planning authorities (LPAs), through local policies and planning applica- tion decisions. New guidelines and policies are gradually appearing, spelling out what LPAs expect from housebuilders and resist- ing cost arguments against SuDS. There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that well-designed SuDS cost no more to install or maintain than conventional piped drainage, particularly when considered as multifunctional elements within the overall project design.


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ESSENTIAL SUDS TECHNIQUE By its very nature, concrete block perme- able paving is uniquely placed as an essential, multifunctional SuDS technique. Of course, hard surfaces are necessary for housing anyway – whether for roads, parking, shared spaces or play. But perme- able paving also provides an inherent drainage system that requires no additional land take for water storage, treatment or conveyance. It also addresses both flooding and pollution issues by storing and cleaning water runoff at source. This technology eliminates pipework, gulleys and manholes, and should therefore cost less than conven- tional drainage and paving. In fact, concrete block permeable paving can also accept runoff from other imperme- able paving and roofs, giving further savings. It can simply infiltrate rainwater falling on it straight into permeable ground, after removing pollutants. But, as is more commonly seen in the UK, less permeable conditions such as clay will limit infiltration and on brownfield sites existing pollutants may preclude infiltration. Here, permeable paving is used to collect and store water onsite during storms, before gradual discharge to surface water or combined sewers, or watercourses later, avoiding surcharging and flooding.


HIGH-DENSITY HOUSING Riverside Court in Stamford, Lincolnshire, is a high-density (106 units/hectare) town- centre housing scheme, with SuDS designed by Robert Bray Associates. In the development, most public areas between


SUSTAINABLE DRAINAGE SAVINGS


Trade body Interpave explains how concrete block permeable paving is helping developers meet the latest regulatory requirements for sustainable drainage (SuDS), while cutting costs and minimising land-take.


PERMEABLE PAVING PROVIDES AN INHERENT DRAINAGE SYSTEM THAT REQUIRES NO ADDITIONAL LAND TAKE FOR WATER STORAGE, TREATMENT OR CONVEYANCE


the buildings are concrete block permeable paving, which also accept runoff from other hard areas and roofs. In addition to infiltra- tion to the ground, stored and cleaned water also passes from the paving directly


into planted rills and canals, enhancing the courtyard environment. From here, any remaining water can eventually flow out into the adjacent River Welland. This SuDS scheme is made up almost entirely of


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