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Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) Approval Body (SAB)

Published: 26/09/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the establishment of the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) to undertake a new statutory function when Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act comes into force on 7 January 2019.

The SAB will need to carry out the technical review and approval of surface water management systems serving new developments to ensure compliance with new mandatory National Standards.

Those affected by this change include developers and their designers, consulting engineers, local authority planners, highways and drainage engineers, statutory consultees and those responsible for green space management.

Schedule 3 has been long anticipated. The principle of SuDS and the creation of the SAB is supported by Flintshire as a Lead Local Flood Risk Authority (LLFA).

Given the January 2019 start date, the Orders and Regulations for the legislation to take effect were due to be finalised and approved by the National Assembly in June 2018.  However, this has not happened yet and the Cabinet is asked to agree that a letter is sent to the relevant Cabinet Secretary to seek an extension to the implementation date.  This extension will allow Local Authorities to be properly resourced and enable them to successfully plan and implement effective SABs.

Cabinet will also be asked to agree to circulate this letter to other Local Authorities to encourage common support for such an extension of time.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said:

“The SAB will be an independent body within the Council.  The management of the surface water drainage for new development, has historically been undertaken through the planning process. This approach has long been considered problematic with issues arising in relation to inconsistent design standards, construction quality and maintenance regimes.

“Conventional drainage aims to convey water away from a development through piped systems which often causes excessive flows in watercourses downstream, exacerbating flooding elsewhere. The SuDS approach aims to deal with rainwater using techniques such as infiltration, and above ground retention that mimic runoff from a site in its natural state and provide opportunity to incorporate amenity, biodiversity, and pollution reduction elements into the design.

“Before the implementation, we will be running a workshops for developers and for officers and members to raise awareness of the upcoming changes.”

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