On 19 July, expert speakers Mark Goodger, Sean Roberts, and Dr. Netsanet Mebrate shared first-hand insight on how to approach new developments and get your SuDS applications approved.

If you missed this Causeway webinar session, this blog summarises some of the main points from this session and gives insight into Schedule 3, SuDs and the future of drainage design.

Since January 2019 Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are mandatory for new developments in Wales. That said, according to a survey by Causeway 65% of businesses have not submitted a drainage design for approval in Wales since the implementation of Schedule 3.

If the implementation of Schedule 3 has affected your business, read on to learn more about Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) adoption and approval in Wales.

What is Schedule 3?

Schedule 3, of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 came into effect on 7 January 2019 in Wales.
It requires new developments to include Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) features that comply with national standards.

The Welsh Government requires new developments of more than one dwelling or where the
area covered by construction work equals or exceeds 100 square metres to seek approval
before construction can commence from the SuDS Approval Body (SAB).

Why is the Welsh Government encouraging businesses to use SuDS?

SuDS promote an improved approach to the management of surface water runoff.

SuDS Wales has said:

“The idea behind SuDS is to try to replicate natural systems that use cost-effective solutions with low environmental impact to drain away surface water run-off through collection, storage, and cleaning before allowing it to be released slowly back into the environment, such as into water courses.”

As mentioned above Sustainable Drainage Systems mimic natural drainage and provide a range of additional benefits compared to traditional drainage systems.

Caerphilly County SuDS journey so far

Caerphilly County Borough Council in Wales is leading the way with SuDs adoption, stating that the requirement is being driven by existing and increased local flooding, increased pollution of Welsh rivers, poor natural landscapes, declining biodiversity and uncertainty regarding the impact of climate change.

Pre-application advice

Caerphilly County Borough Council strongly recommends that developers consider early engagement during the conceptual design/ pre-application phase.

Speaking to Mark Goodger, Principal Engineer at Caerphilly County Borough Council, he says pre-application is key to “successful” and "multi-functional” SuDS.

Early discussion encourages flexibility during the pre-application process as it provides developers with information about considerations, risks and issues around their proposal and how they may overcome them, something that is particularly important for large sites which are intended to be developed in phases.

SuDS Approving Body (SAB) enforcement works

One of the lessons that Caerphilly County has learned as a SAB is that enforcement works.
Enforcement powers are available to applicants when there is a breach of approval or the approval process. Speaking on enforcement in a recent Causeway Webinar, Mark said:

“Enforcement really does work, and it is an important part of the Sustainable Drainage Approval Body (SAB) toolbox. It needs to be flexible and SABs understand that. Enforcing this flexibility gives developers sufficient time to get to grips with design.”

If a developer breaches the requirement for approval the SAB may issue an enforcement notice, this may require the developer to take certain steps to rectify the breach.

An enforcement notice can be sent out to a developer any time before a drainage system is adopted, however no later than 4 years after the breach has occurred. An enforcement notice may be enforced.

The future of drainage design

Successful and easy to maintain SuDS deliver a range of important benefits to local environments, developments and any local community.

The benefit of working with Causeway is that our Drainage design software allows you to assess the impact of innovative drainage techniques such as sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS).

Therefore, enabling engineers to deliver more sustainable drainage solutions that protect infrastructure from future climate change scenarios.

Get started with Causeway Flow

If your design consultancy or construction business requires support with drainage design and/or Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) adoption and approval in Wales, it may be time to try Causeway Flow.

Causeway Flow is the leading drainage design solution available on the UK market. It not only supports SuDs design, but it is also an end-to-end system that supports planning, integrated design workflows and visualisation to support your drainage design efforts and boost productivity.

If your business wants to deliver designs for quick approval on time and on budget, learn more about Flow in this video, or get in touch to request a demo.




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