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Sustainable Drainage Systems: New Changes set for 2024


In January, it was announced that Sustainable Drainage Systems (commonly referred to as SuDS) are set to be made a legal requirement for all new developments by 2024 by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). For developers, this will mean they will no longer have the automatic right to connect to existing drainage systems unless they have a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) in place.

With the increasing threat of extreme weather conditions, it is essential that property developers do everything they can to prevent the damaging effects of flooding for the safety of the property users and the surrounding environment. Permeable surfaces such as grass and soil help prevent flooding, and will be implemented alongside installations such as soakaways, water tanks and water butts to tackle surface water flooding and sewage pollution.

What are SuDS?

Sustainable Drainage Systems harness natural elements; for example soakaways capture stormwater and store it in tanks until it can be slowly distributed into the ground and drained away. Practical applications of SuDS can vary from installing permeable surfaces to creating rain gardens and building attenuation ponds. Their purpose is to reduce excess surface water flooding, improve the water quality and to aid local biodiversity which all contribute towards practicing sustainability.

Defra wants to expand their requirements for SuDS to make new developments more sustainable. At present, it only applies to developments of more than ten homes. A broadening would cover smaller developments and developments in urban areas for non-domestic use.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: Our traditional drainage systems are under increasing pressure from the effects of climate change, urbanisation and a growing population.

The benefits of sustainable drainage systems are many – from mitigating flood risk by catching and storing surplus water and reducing storm overflow discharges, to enhancing local nature in the heart of our developments and helping with harvesting valuable rain water.

Taking a more consistent and effective approach to sustainable drainage systems will improve the resilience of our drainage and sewer infrastructure, while reaping these broader benefits.”

What are the benefits of SuDS?

Benefits of SuDS include:

  • More effective flood risk management

  • Reduced pressure on drainage systems

  • Useful in both flood and drought conditions due to the storage of rainwater

  • Improved water quality

  • Increased biodiversity and supporting existing wildlife

  • Increased wellbeing and quality of life of residents

  • Enhanced opportunities for education and amenity

How can we help?

If you are in need of a SuDS system, we can help. We install a wide range of stormwater attenuation solutions including soakaway crates, stormwater tanks and lagoons. Please give us a call on 0121 461 5311 for advice from our experienced, friendly members of staff or email us on contractors@cotterillcivils.co.uk

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