Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT April 19

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/1094482

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 47

Meeting the SuDS challenge A report indicates that the UK has a long way to go on implementing sustainable drainage systems, yet advice and technological solutions are now available to help accelerate progress Alex Lloyd, Managing Director, Jacopa Ltd The Knowledge 20 | APRIL 2019 | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk O ne of the most common and destructive effects of climate change is the increase in the frequency and severity of urban flooding. Yet tradition- al, capital-intensive solutions are increasingly being rejected because of a lack of available funds. The uncertainties of fu- ture climate effects also mean that solutions that operate to defined risk levels can also become quickly outdated. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) - cost-effective solutions that seek to ensure flood peaks percolate gradu- ally into watercourses - would therefore seem to be an ideal answer. However, a new report from the Landscape Institute (LI) and Construction Industry Council (CIC) highlights that the UK still has a long way to go in implementing such systems. The report shows that 25% of local authorities do not have formal SuDS policies in place, or any immediate plans to implement them, and that 96% of planning applications do not refer to SuDS. However, it also highlights that rela- tively small changes in gov- ernment guidance could bring better outcomes for communi- ties and the environment. SuDS development The new work notes that SuDS are an important way of managing surface water runoff in built developments. These solutions, which mimic natural percolation of storm water into the environment, were introduced to the English planning system in 2010, and national planning encourages them in all developments un- less there is "clear evidence" that they are inappropri- ate. Wales has gone further, making them mandatory for new developments over 100m2 from this January, and Scotland, with more precise guidance on responsibility for maintenance, has long been a focus for SuDS development. The report, which surveyed Lead Local Flood Authori- ties, stresses that a huge step change is still needed with 99% of local authorities reporting that the quality of planning submissions for SuDS are either 'inadequate' or 'mixed'. Research in 2017 showed that 25% of local au- thorities had no formal SuDS policies or plans. The research also shows that delivery is a long way behind ambition. Just 3% of authorities say they have received adequate information to assess a planning application appropriately. The review also suggests, however, that relatively small changes in government guidance could provide better outcomes for com- munities and the environment. The conclusions have implications for the develop-

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Water & Wastewater Treatment - WWT April 19