New Training and Guidance Meets SuDS Approving Body (SAB) Concerns

Written By: Associate Director, Hydro Consultancy

A SAB training session underway

Local authority delegates attending the first of our new training sessions for SABS have welcomed the guidance and support it has provided against a background of continuing uncertainty.

The training, organised by Hydro International, Arup and Micro Drainage Ltd is dedicated to providing practical and pragmatic advice to SABS on how to interpret Government guidance issued so far.

As co-presenter on the third day of the training, I was struck by the general feeling amongst delegates that council leaders were not doing enough to prepare for the impending changes. This was against a background of the current published information including the draft National SuDS Standards; Defra funding for the SAB role via the Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and the impending implementation of the SAB function within Local Authorities, at a date yet to be revealed.

Given that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is in place whereas the National SuDS Standards are a draft that has been out to consultation, the Government needs to address the current level of uncertainty now, as the SAB role could commence in a matter of months.

Against this continuing uncertainty, the delegates welcomed the opportunity to attend the course and receive the 100-page guidance and flow chart that accompanies it.

The feedback from delegates was good to hear as we had set out to provide a broad understanding of the current legislative set-up, together with practical advice on how to design a single site or multi-stage development zone. With this understanding, combined with training on how to use the WinDes® software to assess a typical submission, delegates felt they understood how their role could be carried out.

Many welcomed the way the course interprets the philosophies and requirements of the 12-page draft National SuDS standards with practical approaches.  The course uses best-practice examples from around the world to demonstrate how practical and pragmatic solutions are available to provide a realistic level of treatment on any site irrespective of whether it can infiltrate the first flush into the ground.

Comprehensive documentation accompanies the course.   The Surface Water Management SuDS Developer Guide and accompanying flow chart will be updated and re-released to all delegates  as legislation is enacted, ensuring that the information remains contemporary.

Following the success of the first SAB Training sessions, further events have been organised in Leeds and Newcastle commencing in July. To allow others to attend without travelling great distances the course will be repeated over the summer and into autumn at Clevedon, Newbury, Nottingham and Manchester.     For more details visit the events page.

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