On Dec. 18, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs released a ministerial statement on sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS). With this, the agencies also released a summary of the SuDS consultation that took place in September and October. As expected, SuDS implementation will now fall under local planning policies, with the expectation that SuDS are provided in new developments “wherever this is appropriate.” These changes will take effect starting April 6.

According to the statement, to ensure runoff is managed properly, SuDS should be considered on planning applications relating to major development, which includes 10 or more dwellings or the equivalent non-residential or mixed development. Under this new framework, local planning authorities also will consult with local flood authorities on operation and maintenance of SuDS facilities. Additionally, according the ministerial statement, current requirements that new developments in flood risk areas should give priority to SuDS will still apply.

The ministerial statement leaves room for questions related to how SuDS implementation will occur on the ground. For some of these questions and thoughts on the statement, check out this blog by Paul Shaffer of the Construction Industry Research and Information Association.

With the ministerial statement announcement, the UK government also released a consultation for guidance on local planning authorities in relation to SuDS. This consultation closes on Jan. 29.