Home > Resident > Planning > Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Significant change to drainage requirements will impact new developments from January 2019.

From January 7th 2019, all new developments of more than 1 house or where the construction area is of 100m2 or more will require sustainable drainage to manage on-site surface water. Surface water drainage systems must be designed and built in accordance with mandatory standards for sustainable drainage published by Welsh Ministers. 

These systems must be approved by the local authority acting in its SuDS Approving Body (SAB) role before construction work begins. The SAB will have a duty to adopt compliant systems so long as it is built and functions in accordance with the approved proposals, including any SAB conditions of approval.

Which legislation are we referring to?
Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (FWMA) 2010 requires surface water drainage for new developments to comply with mandatory National Standards for sustainable drainage (SuDS).  Please see the below for links to the Welsh Government and National Assembly for Wales websites for further information.
https://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/flooding/drainage/?lang=en

Schedule 3 to the FWMA 2010 also places a duty on local authorities as SuDS Approving Body to approve, adopt and maintain systems compliant with section 17 of the Schedule. For further information on the legislation, please go to the Schedule 3 of the Flood & Water Management Act 2010.

What exactly is a SAB?
The SAB is a statutory function delivered by the local authority to ensure that drainage proposals for all new developments of more than 1 house or where the construction area is 100m2 are designed and built in accordance with the national standards for sustainable drainage published by Welsh Ministers.
The SAB is established to:
• Evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications, and
• Adopt and maintain sustainable surface water drainage systems according to Section 17 of Schedule 3 (FWMA).
• The SAB also has powers of inspection and enforcement 
• And uses discretionary powers to offer non-statutory pre-application advice

What does it mean for my development?
Whether you are a developer, an agent or an individual seeking planning permission for a development, if your development is of more than 1 house or of 100m2 or more of construction area you must also seek SAB approval alongside planning approval. You will not be allowed to start construction until the 2 permissions are granted.

Existing sites and developments with planning permission granted or deemed to be granted (whether or not subject to any conditions as to a reserved matter) or for which a valid application has been received but not determined by 7 January 2019, will not be required to apply for SAB approval. 

However, SAB approval will still be required if the planning permission was granted subject to a condition as to a reserved matter and an application for approval of the reserved matter is not made before 7 January 2020. 

Some exemptions will apply:
• Construction work which does not require planning permission is excepted from the requirement for SAB approval, the exception does not apply where the construction covers an area of 100 m2 or more.
• Whether or not planning permission is required, construction work involving the construction of a single dwelling house, or other type of construction, which covers an area of land of less than 100m2, is excepted from the requirement for approval.

How do I seek SAB approval and pre-application advice?
a) Application for pre-application advice
The SAB offers a pre-application advice service to discuss in detail your site’s drainage requirements and what needs to be submitted with your application. At present the pre-application advice service is free to encourage early engagement. Initially you should contact us via SAB@Flintshire.gov.uk to request a short meeting or telephone discussion in relation general SAB approval requirements for your development. Any subsequent site specific pre-application advice requires you to formally submit details via the Application Form for Pre-Application Advice. Upon receipt of which you will be issued with a unique case reference number enabling our officers to engage in further formal pre-application discussions. Note there is no statutory timescale relating to the pre-application process. 

Further details is provided in the Guidance for Pre-Application Advice and Full Application Approval of SuDS. 

b) Application for full approval of SuDS.
Applications must be submitted using the Application Form for Full Application Approval of SuDS. Once a full SAB application is received it will be determined solely on the information provided and only in exceptional circumstances will we contact you during its assessment, therefore it is essential that any technical uncertainties or issues are dealt with by all parties as part of the pre-application advice process above. The form must be fully completed and accompanied by all necessary technical supporting information as indicated in the guidance or as otherwise directed during pre-application discussions.

On confirmation that the application form is complete and valid, the SAB will provide details of how to make payment of the prescribed application fee and provide a unique application reference. This must be quoted on all future correspondence. Your valid application will not be processed until the application fee is received and cleared in full. Note the SAB has seven weeks upon validation to determine the application.
 
Further details is provided in the Guidance for Pre-Application Advice and Full Application Approval of SuDS. 

How do I contact my SAB?
Initially you should contact us via SAB@Flintshire.gov.uk to request a short meeting or telephone discussion in relation general SuDS approval requirements for your development.

There is a large amount of information available and the following webpages are a useful free resource to gain more information on Sustainable Drainage and help you understand what you will need to consider.
https://www.sudswales.com/
https://www.susdrain.org/       

CIRIA 757: The SuDs Manual: 
https://www.ciria.org/Resources/Free_publications/SuDS_manual_C753.aspx