Latest proposals will see SuDS delivered quickly, but not automatically to a high standard

Posted: Thursday 20th November 2014

Responding to the Government’s latest consultation on the delivery of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), the Environmental Industries Commission’s Deputy Public Affairs Director, Sam Ibbott, said:

“The Government’s new proposal to deliver SuDS through the planning system is the path of least resistance – it will see SuDS delivered quickly, but not automatically to a high standard.

“We have some concern over consistent high quality delivery across planning authorities. However, whilst this new approach is not ideal it is workable – and believe it preferable to find a workable version of these latest proposals than starting again and incurring further delays.”

The key points made in EIC’s response to the consultation include:

· The consultation document frames SuDS almost exclusively in terms of flooding, and does not take into account their potential impact on water quality. This is unfortunate.

· EIC welcomes the consultation’s focus on the ongoing maintenance of SuDS – however, hastily delivered but inappropriate or poorly installed SuDS have the potential for much higher maintenance costs in the long run.

· There is some risk with delivering SuDS through the planning system as local planning conditions have not always been effective in the past – with houses being built on flood plains, for example.

· There is a potential loophole in exempting ‘micro’ developments from SuDS requirements, in that a major development could be reclassified as numerous smaller ones. Further, there will be an onus on the local planning authority to monitor the cumulative impact of numerous micro developments in their area.

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