Flood and Water Management Act

EFRA Post-legislative scrutiny report recommendations – the good and the misunderstood

22 May 2017

Written By: Mark Goodger Regional Technical Manager, Hydro International UK Stormwater Divison

The Post-legislative scrutiny: Flood and Water Management Act 2010 report recently published by the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) has set out a list of recommendations for the next Government. Some of these recommendations I wholeheartedly agree with, while some have left me with a feeling of déjà vu over what is and what […]

Is English SuDS Policy Working?

23 May 2016

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

SuDS on a housing estate

Do we really need another review of SuDS policy? We’ve had plenty already and, going right back to the recommendations of the Pitt Review, the case for SuDS is well proven; they are cost effective, practical, multi-functional and bring biodiversity and amenity. However, this statutory SuDS review will be different: the UK Government will investigate […]

Schedule 3 – Gone but not quite forgotten yet?

1 Apr 2016

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Berewood SuDS during construction with show homes in the background

THE HOUSE of Lords became the rather polite battleground last week for an attempt to revive abandoned proposals to establish a separate local authority approval system for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in England and remove developers’ automatic right to connect to the public sewer.   Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (FMWA) […]

Welsh Standards Light the Way for Future SuDS Delivery

7 Mar 2016

Written By: Mark Goodger Regional Technical Manager, Hydro International UK Stormwater Divison

Having been born and bred in Wales, as well as currently living there, I can be forgiven for a little favouritism for the Welsh way of doing things. The new interim non-statutory SuDS standards for Wales are certainly different from their English and Scottish counterparts – and I believe they are worth studying, even for […]

Planning Officers Struggling to Make Sense of SuDS Guidance Muddle

24 Jul 2015

Written By: Sue Illman Managing Director, Illman Young

Now that the dust has settled over the elections, its time to think about where we are going with SuDS, and it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will be made now that the heavy influence of Eric Pickles has been removed. We ended the last government with the ridiculous situation that […]

Is this the End of the Beginning for Surface Water Management?

21 Jul 2015

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Surface Water Swale

We are at a turning point for surface water management in the UK. If you will forgive me for misquoting Churchill: this is not the end, or even the beginning of the end for SuDS.  It simply has to be the end of the beginning if we are to secure long-term flood resilience and surface […]

Our top ten wish-list for the Environment Secretary and her new floods and water minister

15 Jun 2015

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

As the majority Conservative Government gets to work, Environment Secretary Liz Truss has returned to her desk and new under-secretary Rory Stewart has been appointed with a brief including the natural environment, floods and water and lead responsibility for overseeing the Environment Agency. In the Queen’s Speech on May 27, the Government reiterated its promise […]

New SuDS Regulations – Where Now for SuDS?

1 May 2015

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Swale with manhole in foreground

A brave new world for SuDS began when new planning regulations came into force last month, designed to ensure, where possible, that Sustainable Drainage Systems are used on major new developments in England. With a much-needed push for new homes underway, it ought to be a relief that more than 10 years of wrangling over […]

Manifestos for Floods and SuDs? Reviewing the Parties’ Election Agendas

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

Berewood SuDS during construction with show homes in the background

Throughout the election campaign all the main parties have been united in one commitment at least – that tackling the housing crisis will be top of the agenda for the next Government. After the General Election, incentivising new homes building will be a priority and that has to be good news for the country and […]

Election Countdown – A vote for flood investment

19 Feb 2015

Written By: Phil Collins European Sales Director, Hydro International

Bradford Upon Avon Flood

With the countdown to the 2015 General Election underway, the two main parties have already gone head-to-head on flood spending and flooding is a fighting issue in a number of key marginal seats, which should keep it in the public eye. Meanwhile, in a highly-unusual show of unity, the three main parties came together on […]

What does the future of SuDS hold?

8 Jul 2013

Written By: Owen Davies Sustainability Engineer, Lambeth Council

Defra have clearly indicated that schedule 3 will be implemented in April 2014 and as promised there will be six months notice. The language initially used was “we will” however the language has started to change to “we aim”. Within the Defra’s response to the EFRA Parliamentary Group the phrase “…” was used six times, […]

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

27 Jun 2012

Written By: Alan Corner 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 […]

The Top 7 Unanswered Questions on SuDS Standards

26 Jun 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

With one voice, a cry for ‘clarity, clarity, clarity’ has gone out to Government in response to the National SuDS Standards consultation.  There are strong indications that both local government and industry believe the standards, as they currently stand, are not yet fit for purpose. The devil is definitely in the detail as far as […]

SuDs get out clause would be ‘unmanageable’

26 Mar 2012

Written By: Beryl Kemplen Engineering Manager, Aylesbury Vale District Council.

So, the consultation on the National SuDS Standards is closed, and we are all eagerly awaiting the outcome. The draft standards are much as expected, but I am surprised, and more than a little concerned, that they contain such an unmanageable get out clause allowing any development to be exempt from SUDS if the SUDS […]

When will we have a truly sustainable drainage infrastructure?

14 Mar 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

As Defra’s consultation on National Standards for SuDS came to a close, I was prompted to ask the question: how long will it be before they have a measurable impact on our surface water management infrastructure in the UK? The answer is, surely not for many years.   Set to become law in Autumn 2012 at […]

Do water and sewerage companies wave goodbye to surface water?

2 Feb 2012

Written By: Simon Bunn Sustainable Drainage Engineer, Cambridge City Council

One of the most interesting parts of the National SuDS Standard consultation is not what is in it but what is in the consultation on the automatic adoption of new gravity foul sewers and lateral drains. This implements a change in the Water Industry Act that was proposed in the Flood and Water Management Act. […]

SuDS maintenance funding arrangements could be a ‘logistical nightmare’

30 Jan 2012

Written By: Gordon Hunt County Drainage Engineer, Oxfordshire County Council

Local authorities still have some big questions over the funding of SuDS schemes as we move towards full implementation of the Flood and Water Management Act. I was attending a Flood Management Conference just before Christmas and was sat listening to a senior official from DEFRA explaining how the funding would be provided to maintain […]

At Last we have National SuDS Standards…

12 Jan 2012

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

DEFRA served up an extra treat for us to digest over the Christmas holidays.  The National Standards for SuDS were published for consultation on December 20.  For the complete industry reaction, I suspect we’ll need to wait until the New Year is well underway. The National Standards are designed to provide a structure for the […]

SuDS or No SuDS – Is that a question?

31 Oct 2011

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Photo of an Urban SuDS Design - Courtesy of Illman Young

Press reports of a ‘SuDS Loophole’ that may provide a ‘get out’ from the new National Standards have sent ripples around the industry. The New Civil Engineer exposé suggests Defra is now proposing that Local Authority SuDS Approving Bodies (SABS) can agree a ‘non-SuDS’ solution, if the only options for Sustainable Drainage would be ‘disproportionately […]

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) – the challenges ahead for SABs

22 Sep 2011

Written By: Beryl Kemplen Engineering Manager, Aylesbury Vale District Council.

We have come a long way in the last 10 years in getting surface water drainage considered at masterplanning stage on larger developments.  Their outline planning applications are generally accompanied by a comprehensive flood risk assessment and drainage strategy.  There is still, however, a real difficulty in getting these outline proposals reflected in the detailed […]

Who will be the Consenting Body for Ordinary Watercourses?

11 May 2011

Written By: Gordon Hunt County Drainage Engineer, Oxfordshire County Council

The Government in its wisdom has decided to spread the enactment of the Flood and Water Management Act over a period of at least two years. From a recent meeting I attended, I understand from Defra that another element of the Act will be announced this October or perhaps next April, and this is who will be the Consenting Body for Ordinary Watercourses. Although this may be one of the small changes the Act makes, it is quite important.

Maintenance Implications for Design of SUDS

Written By: Beryl Kemplen Engineering Manager, Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Most SUDS systems will be expected to last a good many years. SUDS are intended to reduce flood risk, and to do that they need to operate effectively, and to do that continually they need to be maintained…..

Flood protection under real threat from funding crisis

9 Feb 2011

Written By: Alex Stephenson Market Development Director, Hydro International.

Bradford Upon Avon Flood

HIGH-PRIORITY flood defence projects in England and Wales – in jeopardy following tough spending cuts – need a fresh injection of innovative, sustainable and lower-cost engineering to avoid future flooding disasters.