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Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) provide an alternative method for managing surface water by imitating natural drainage and helping urban areas to cope with severe rainfall. SuDS generally replace conventional underground piped systems which results in systems being easier to maintain and problems to be identified more rapidly. By capturing rainfall, this allows water to evaporate, soak into the ground or be released into a nearby watercourse at slower rates and volumes than traditional piped drainage. 

On 18th December 2014, the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) released a Ministerial Statement on the implementation of SuDS. The statement made changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, requiring local planning policies and decisions on planning applications for major developments to ensure SuDS are used for the management of run-off, unless demonstrated to be inappropriate.  

Consequently, it is essential that developers provide clear and appropriate information on SuDS when applying for planning permission for major developments. 

Major developments are defined as any of the following: 

  • Winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits 
  • Waste development 
  • 10 or more dwellings / 0.5 Ha or more  
  • Building/s where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more
  • Development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more 

Sefton Council, in its role as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), is a statutory consultee and, therefore, provides technical advice on major planning applications. Sefton’s Local Plan was adopted in 2017 and includes the policy EQ8 ‘Flood Risk and Surface Water’. An additional information document, the ‘Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) and Flood Risk Information Note’ (plus appendices) has been produced by Sefton Council to offer clear guidance to developers and others in relation to policy EQ8. These documents are linked below:


   SuDs & Flood Risk -

    Information Note

   (Text & Appendices)


  Provides guidance in relation to policy EQ8

  Flood Risk and Surface Water’ of Sefton’s

  Local Plan. 


   Appendix 1

   Critical Drainage Areas


  Appendix 1 contains maps of Sefton Critical

  Drainage Areas. 


   Appendix 2 Other

   Consent Regimes 


  Appendix 2 provides an overview of other

  potentially applicable consent regimes. 


   Appendix 3 Help

   Managing Surface Water



  Appendix 3 highlights simple steps to reduce

  surface water run-off & flood risk which would

  benefit residents, businesses & local community.  


   Appendix 4 SuDS

   Type & Benefits


  Appendix 4 highlights common components of

  SuDS and their green infrastructure benefits. 


Additional background information on flood risk, historical flooding and surface water management can be found in Sefton Council’s Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) and Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP). These documents are linked below:  

  Strategic Flood Risk



  The SFRA provides information on the

  probability & consequences of flooding

  in Sefton. 


  Surface Water

  Management Plan


  The SWMP provides detail on the extent,

  mechanisms & consequences of surface

  water flooding. It helps planners with

  policy & other departments  with emergency

  response plans or climate

  change adaptation measures. 



Sefton Council, as the LLFA, have prepared a number of documents which set out the flood risk and surface water drainage information required to be submitted as part of major planning applications. These documents form part of the Council’s ‘Planning Validation Checklist.’ Planning applications for major development and for sites of 0.5 hectares in Critical Drainage Areas that are not submitted with the above information will not be regarded as a ‘valid’ application. These documents may also be beneficial to other (non-major) developments and are linked below: 

  SuDS - Completing your

  Pro-Forma: Advice Note


  The Advice Note contains information and

  guidance about what you need to submit

  in support of your major planning application. 


  Pro Forma:

  Planning Applications 


  Pro-forma 1 is used when applying for

  planning permission, including Outline, Full,

  Hybrid and Reserved Matters applications.  


  Pro Forma 2:

  Discharge Of Conditions 


  Pro-forma 2 is used when you are applying

  to discharge condition(s) relating to your

  sustainable drainage system. 


Last Updated on Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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