Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons on 18 December 2014 setting out changes to planning that will apply for major development from 6 April 2015. This confirms that in considering planning applications, local planning authorities should consult the relevant Lead Local Flood Authority on the management of surface water; satisfy themselves that the proposed minimum standards of operation are appropriate and ensure through the use of planning conditions or planning obligations that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development.

Therefore from 6 April 2015 local planning policies and decisions on planning applications relating to major development are required to ensure that sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are used for the management of surface water.

Major development is development involving any one or more of the following:

(a)      the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;

(b)      waste development;

(c)      the provision of dwellinghouses where -

(i)      the number of dwellinghouses to be provided is 10 or more; or

(ii)     the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within sub-paragraph (c)(i);

(d)       the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more; or

(e)       development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more

What does this Mean for Applicants

December’s Written Ministerial Statement sets out new policy on sustainable drainage systems which should be read alongside the NPPF.  This means that sustainable drainage systems are a material consideration in all major development, irrespective of location, wherever sustainable drainage systems would be appropriate.

There is therefore an expectation that robust and sustainable arrangements for the maintenance of sustainable drainage system will be put in place.  Applicants will need to submit sufficient information, both in respect to the design of systems and their future maintenance to enable the Lead Flood Authority and therefore the Local Planning Authority to discharge its duties.

Should you have a major application lodged with the Council you are strongly advised to discuss the implications of the introduction of SuDs with the case officer at the earliest opportunity.

Updated Guidance - To be applied from 1st April 2019

NYCC SuDS technical guidance - Updated 2018

Guidance up to 31st March 2019

NYCC SuDS technical guidance.

Contacts for the Lead Local Flood Authority

From 16 April 2015 North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) in its capacity as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) will become a statutory consultee for planning authorities determining planning applications for major developments (see The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010).

The contact for the Lead Local Flood Authority is or by phone on 01609 533216. Alternatively the address for correspondence is:

SuDS and Development Control Officer
Flood Risk Management
Business & Environmental Services
North Yorkshire County Council
County Hall
North Yorkshire

NYCC SuDS technical guidance can be found here

Flood recovery advice and guidance can be found here - 

Further Information

Further guidance can be obtained from the following sources: