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Sustainable drainage systems

From 7 January 2019, new developments of at least two properties or over 100m2 of construction area will require sustainable drainage to manage on-site surface water. The surface water drainage systems must be designed and built in accordance with standards for sustainable drainage.

These systems must be approved by the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) before construction work begins.

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are drainage systems that improve or do not harm the environment. They efficiently and sustainably drain surface water, while minimising pollution and managing the impact on water quality of local water bodies.

Flood and Water Management Act (FWMA) 2010

Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (FWMA) 2010 requires surface water drainage for new developments to meet national standards for sustainable drainage. You can find more information by reading CIRIA 753: The SuDS Manual.

Schedule three also places a duty on local authorities to approve, adopt and maintain systems compliant with Section 17 of the Act. For further information on the legislation, please go to the Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act.

Sustainable drainage systems approval body (SAB)

The local authority acts as the Systems Approval Body (SAB). They must make sure drainage proposals are fit for purpose, designed and built following the national standards. This applies to all new developments that are at least two properties or over 100m2 of construction area.

The SAB must:

  • provide a service to discuss proposals before the application is made
  • assess and approve drainage applications for new developments
  • adopt and maintain surface water drainage systems

How this affects your development

If you are a developer, agent or individual seeking planning permission for a development, you must seek approval independently from your planning application. This applies if your development is of two properties or more, or over 100m2 of construction area. Construction can only begin once both planning permission and drainage approval has been granted.

You won’t need to apply for SAB approval if planning permission has been granted or a valid application has been received by 7 January 2019.

You will need approval if planning permission was granted subject to a reserved matter and an application for approval is not made before 7 January 2020.

How to seek SAB approval

There will be a pre-application service to discuss your site, drainage requirements and what needs to be submitted as part of your application. There will be a charge for this service.

This service will help limit delays to approval and reduce cost in the long term. It is strongly encouraged before submitting your full application.

You can apply for permission by using the sustainable drainage application form:


Sustainable drainage systems

Bridgend County Borough Council
Telephone: 01656 642810
Address: Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB.

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