Local Authority Survey – SuDS: The State of the Nation

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Engineering Nature’s Way is launching SuDS: The State of the Nation, a national survey to investigate local authorities’ preparations for new SuDS approving roles and to gain insights into their vision for the use of SuDS in future.

The survey follows the Government’s announcement of a further delay in the start-up of the new SuDS Approving Bodies (SABs) in England and Wales and the publication of National Standards for SuDS.

SuDS: The State of the Nation will investigate if officers feel sufficiently confident, trained and resourced as they prepare to establish SuDS Approving Bodies (SABS) and what further support they might need.  The survey also aims to gain insights into their vision for development of SuDS techniques in their areas.

The survey is being conducted in association with CIWEM (The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management), British Water and the SBWWI (Society of British Water and Wastewater Industries).  Engineering Nature’s Way is the initiative of Hydro International.

“We will be contacting officers in all Lead Local Flood Authority in the coming weeks who have an interest or responsibility for SuDS and inviting them to take part,” said Alex Stephenson, Chair of the British Water SuDS Focus Group and Director of Hydro International’s Stormwater Division.

“Anyone who would like to take part can also access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SuDSSurvey.   Responses will remain anonymous.

“We hope the survey can help to keep the debate alive and encourage best practice by sharing local authorities’ longer-term aspirations for SuDS in their areas.  In particular we are keen to gauge interest in retroffiting SuDS and attitudes towards capturing and storing rainwater as usable resource.”

The survey is being conducted by an independent specialist Local Government research company on behalf of Engineering Nature’s Way.  Responses will be published in a dedicated report which will be available to download later this year via the Engineering Nature’s Way website www.engineeringnaturesway.co.uk.

A Round Table panel debate with invited industry experts will meet to discuss the results at a specially-arranged event in December which will be filmed and available to view on the Engineering Nature’s Way website.

Part of the implementation of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the new regulations will require SABS to approve SuDS according to new National Standards for all

developments over one property in England and Wales.  But implementation has been delayed by Defra following widespread calls to improve on the proposed National Standards by which they will be judged.

As part of the Act, Local Authority SuDS Approving Bodies (SABS) were originally due to begin work assessing SuDS schemes on new developments from October 2012.  However, a consultation on the proposed National Standards for SuDS, ended in March and since then Defra has deferred the date for SABs to begin their roles, giving assurances only that they will get at least six months notice before commencement.

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