The government is consulting on an alternative approach for implementing sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) and providing for their long-term maintenance.

Sustainable drainage systems slow the rate of surface water run-off and improve infiltration, by mimicking natural drainage to reduce the risk of “flash-flooding” when rainwater rapidly flows into the public sewerage and drainage systems. The consultation is in response to concerns that the procedures set out in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA) could delay developments.

The consultation includes proposals to:

  • Replace the regime for the approval and adoption of SUDS in the FWMA 2010 with a procedure that makes SUDS part of the planning consent regime.
  • Strengthen planning policy to require SUDS in preference to conventional drainage in certain new developments.
  • Use planning conditions to provide for the maintenance of SUDS for the lifetime of the development.

The consultation relates to England only and closes on 24 October 2014. It can be found on the DEFRA website.