Advice on SuDS: Sustainable urban drainage systems
This relates to a question raised on our Members' LinkedIn Technical Forum about Sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS).
The query asked if new questions on the CON 29 form mean that surveyors will have to record all applications which involve a SuDS system.
He was also looking for a definitive list of these systems, for example, does SuDS include domestic soakaways for individual houses?
The information below is useful for those in construction as well as in building control.
Con 29 Question 3.3. Drainage matters
(a) Is the property served by a sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS)?
(b) Are there SuDS features within the boundary of the property? If yes, is the owner responsible for maintenance?
(c) If the property benefits from a SuDS for which there is a charge, who bills the property for the surface water drainage charge?
Sustainable urban drainage systems, or SuDS as they are commonly called, are structures and techniques aimed at draining surface water efficiently and sustainably.
Some SuDS features are simply dips or grooves in the land, which could easily be built over or damaged by a property owner who didn't know they were there for a specific reason, so it is important that owners and occupiers of properties know about any SuDS features within the boundary of their property so that they do not damage or build over them.
In addition, county and unitary authorities may be able to levy a maintenance charge on occupiers of properties that are served by an adopted SuDS, so it is important that buyers are able to find out who is responsible for collecting the maintenance charges so that they can find out the amount of the charge.
The new enquiry specifically asks “who bills the property. The maintenance charges may be collected by water companies, management companies or private commercial companies.
The local authority may not know who is responsible for collecting the charges, however, if the local authority does know who is responsible, they should provide details. If the local authority does not know who is responsible for collecting the maintenance charges, they should recommend that further enquiries be made of water companies, management companies or private commercial companies.
3.3.(a) No, Yes (in which case please supply further details including contacts), Yes (not known) or Not yet implemented.
3.3.(b) No, Yes (in which case confirm whether the owner is responsible for maintenance).
At 3.3.(c) supply the address of the surface water drainage provider. If the local authority is not the surface water drainage provider, but knows who is, they should give details. If this information is not known, the response should be “No further information available, please contact the water drainage provider or management company”.
In addition, the local authority should confirm the date from which the information is provided, for example, “information provided from June 2015”.
SuDS are not implemented in Wales and do not apply to Welsh authorities, therefore the response of “Not yet Implemented” should be used.
Responses will largely be confined to Planning consents where this has been a requirement following the guidance contained in the other documents attached. This will be for developments rather than individual properties but would also extend to single dwellings and obviously front drives sloping to the highway.
The interim code of practice offers the most practical suggestions.
Within this document it does refer to building control requirements to secure sustainable drainage before drainage to a public system is considered.
If you have stored this information then this is what the amended office system will pick up. If you have not then there will be a requirement to declare and record this from the June date. As with previous alterations to Con 29 I believe you can offer this as an additional charge to research pre-June 2016 (archive) applications, otherwise the response would be “unknown” and it would be up to the estate agent surveyors to determine this from a site survey.
I would envisage County and Regional LABC groups would be discussing this at meetings to ensure a consistent approach.
For further information, visit Who is responsible for sustainable urban drainage (SuDS)?