Implementing sustainable drainage systems for urban surface water management within the regulatory framework in England and Wales

Ellis, John Bryan and Lundy, Lian ORCID logoORCID: (2016) Implementing sustainable drainage systems for urban surface water management within the regulatory framework in England and Wales. Journal of Environmental Management, 183 (Part 3) . pp. 630-636. ISSN 0301-4797 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.09.022)

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The UK 2007 floods resulted in damages estimated to exceed over £4 billion. This triggered a national review of strategic flood risk management (Pitt, 2008) with its recommendations informing and implemented by the Flood and Water Management, Act (FWMA, 2010). Estimating that up to two-thirds of properties flooded in the 2007 event as a direct result of overloaded sewer systems, the FWMA set out an ambitious overhaul of flood risk management approaches including identifying bodies responsible for the management of local flood risk (local municipalities) and the development of over-arching Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) at a regional level. LLFAs duties include developing local flood risk management strategies and, aligned with this, many LLFAs and local municipalities produced sustainable drainage system (SUDS) guidance notes. In parallel, changes to the national planning policy framework (NPPF) in England give priority to the use of SUDS in new major developments, as does the related Town and Country Planning Order (2015). However, whilst all three pieces of legislation refer to the preferential use of SUDs, these requirements remain “economically proportionate” and thus the inclusion of SUDS within development controls remain desirable - but not mandatory - obligations. Within this dynamic policy context, reignited most recently by the December 2015 floods, this paper examines some of the challenges to the implementation of SUDS in England and Wales posed by the new regulatory frameworks. In particular, it examines how emerging organisational procedures and processes are likely to impact on future SUDS implementation, and highlights the need for further cross-sectoral working to ensure opportunities for cross-sectoral benefits– such as that accrued by reducing stormwater flows within combined sewer systems for water companies, property developers and environmental protection – are not lost.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 13 September 2016
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Urban Pollution Research Centre (UPRC)
Item ID: 20513
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lian Lundy
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 13:33
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:25

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