Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to Become Mandatory in England

A recent Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) review of ‘Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010)’ has recommended that the Schedule should be implemented, effectively making SuDS mandatory for new developments in England, as they have been in Wales since 2019. This is a really positive step forward and will ensure that we are tackling the impacts of climate change to reduce the risk of flooding for generations to come.

Sustainable Drainage Systems or SuDS, are drainage systems that aim to manage surface water runoff in a sustainable manner rather than routing it through a convention piped system. SuDS aim to mimic the natural runoff regime of a site, reduce the risk of flooding and enhance the environment through the benefits they provide for biodiversity and amenity. There are lots of different types of SuDS including green roofs, swales, detention basins, and wetlands.

The recommendation of the review has been welcomed by consultants, engineers and developers since it was published earlier this month, and heralds the end of a 12 year wait for a clear and consistent approach to incorporating SuDS into new developments.

Implementation of the schedule is anticipated to be early 2024 and will see the creation of a SuDS approving body, akin to a planning authority, who will provide pre-app advice, review and approve drainage design applications, and ultimately adopt and maintain any SuDS that are constructed and operate as per the approved designs. A clear set of statutory national standards for SuDS are likely to be implemented, and this will guide developers and their design consultants appropriately to achieve a sustainable, functional and future-proof drainage scheme.

This is excellent news for stormwater management and an important step forward in the protection of our environment, mitigating and reducing the impacts of climate change and making places greener.

Find Sectors and Services

Use the options below to help you navigate quickly and easily to your desired section of our website.

Find a Team

Use the options below to help you find the team you need.

Find an Individual

Use the options below to help you find the specialist you need.