Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons on 18th December 2014 setting out changes to planning that will apply for major development from 6 April 2015. This confirms that in considering planning applications, local planning authorities should consult the relevant Lead Local Flood Authority on the management of surface water; satisfy themselves that the proposed minimum standards of operation are appropriate and ensure through the use of planning conditions or planning obligations that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development.

Therefore from 6 April 2015 local planning policies and decisions on planning applications relating to major development are required to ensure that sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are used for the management of surface water.

Major development is development involving any one or more of the following:
(a) the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;
(b) waste development;
(c) the provision of dwellinghouses where -
(i) the number of dwellinghouses to be provided is 10 or more; or
(ii) the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within sub- paragraph (c)(i);
(d) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more;
(e) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

What does this mean for applicants

The Written Ministerial Statement from December sets out new policy on sustainable drainage systems which should be read alongside the NPPF. This means that sustainable drainage systems are a material consideration in all major development, irrespective of location, wherever sustainable drainage systems would be appropriate.

There is therefore an expectation that robust and sustainable arrangements for the maintenance of sustainable drainage systems will form part of new major development proposals. Applicants will need to submit sufficient information, both in respect to the design of systems and their future maintenance to enable the Lead Flood Authority and therefore the Local Planning Authority to discharge its duties.

The following checklists should be completed by the applicant and submitted as part of the relevant planning application in order to demonstrate that the necessary information has been supplied to assess the suitability of the proposed sustainable drainage system, in line with Paragraphs 103 and 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Failure to provide any of the information requested may result in the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) making recommendation for refusal of the planning application on grounds of insufficient information.

Icon for pdf Checklist 1 - Full Applications [16.1KB]

Icon for pdf Checklist 2 - Outline Applications [15.87KB]

Further Advice from Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council Flood and Water Management Team provide further information on their website Flooding and Water Management.

Statutory Consultation

From 16 April 2015 Norfolk County Council in its capacity as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) became a statutory consultee for planning authorities determining planning applications for major developments.