Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) comprise a set of water management practices and facilities designed to maximise the opportunities and benefits that can be secured from surface water management to provide a sustainable approach in comparison to the conventional practice of routing run-off through a pipe to a watercourse.

The aim of SUDS is to mimic the natural surface water drainage process. For new developments this can be achieved through the inclusion of features such as soakaways, infiltration basins, swales, permeable pavements, filter strips and balancing ponds.

New developments often replace permeable land with significant areas (buildings, roads, driveways, etc.) which are impermeable to rainwater and which, during times of high rainfall, generate runoff leading to flooding.

The many devastating floods of recent years, most notably in the winter of 2015-2016, exacerbated in many cases by inadequate storm water controls, have placed renewed emphasis on the need for adequate and sustainable storm water management.

The government’s National Planing Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that planning applications for new developments using SUDS are given priority. The introduction of the ‘Non-statutory Technical Standards for SUDS’ and updates within the NPPF Planning practice guidance in April 2015 mean that all major development must include SUDS as part of development proposals. Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) are now statutory consultees in relation to SUDS on major applications. Area apecific LLFA guidance is constantly evolving and becoming more stringent.  Cole Easdon can interpret planning requirements to maximise the benefits of SuDS for a site.

The Benefits

A professional Sustainable Urban Drainage System prepared by Cole Easdon Consultants will:

  • Provide developers with a SUDS strategy that meets with the requirements of Local Planning Authorities in order to gain timely planning consent
  • Facilitate the sustainable management of surface water drainage
  • Reduce the risk of flooding to the development and the surrounding area
  • Improve the quality of downstream receiving waters
  • Incorporate features, such as dry basins, ponds and wetlands, which can improve local amenity biodiversity

How We Can Help

As experts in water management we provide some or all of the following services to help our clients deliver effective Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS):

  • Identification and design of appropriate SUDS
  • The provision of SUDS advice and design at pre-planning stage or to discharge Local Authority conditions
  • Computer modelling of drainage networks including sewers and watercourses using WINDES software
  • Soil infiltration testing to determine soakaway drainage potential
  • Technical assistance to understand surface water flooding (e.g. drainage exceedance modelling to determine flood volumes, velocities and mapping of flood flow routes)
  • Preparation of NPPF compliant sustainable drainage strategies
  • Liaison with LLFA’s

Examples of Our Work

Eden Park, Littlehampton: Design of a SUDS scheme with four below ground infiltration basins (with a total storage volume of 3,000 m³) plus a wetland pond for a 400 dwelling residential development on behalf of Taylor Wimpey.

Abbotswood, Romsey: Development of a SUDS strategy which included the design of infiltration basins, soakaways, swales and permeable pavements for an 800 dwelling development. More…

Folly Park View, Faringdon, Oxfordshire: A Flood Risk Assessment and development of a sustainable Drainage Strategy for a new 400 dwelling residential development on behalf of Bloor Homes. A detailed SUDS design was then undertaken, comprising permeable pavements and attenuation ponds. More…

Haywards Heath, Care Home Complex: Development of a SUDS infiltration Drainage Strategy comprising a below ground infiltration basin.

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