Sustainable Drainage Takes Centre Stage in New Developments

The way we manage rainwater in new developments has undergo a significant change. The UK government has introduced legislations to make sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) mandatory for new construction projects in England. This move aims to tackle increasing flood risks and create more environmentally friendly developments.

What are SuDS?

Traditional drainage systems rely on pipes and channels to whisk rainwater away as quickly as possible. SuDS, on the other hand, take a more holistic approach. They are a collection of techniques designed to manage rainwater runoff close to its source, mimicking natural drainage patterns by slowing down the flow of rainwater and allowing it to soak back into the ground. This can be achieved through various methods such as:

  • Permeable surfaces: Replacing concrete with grass and materials like gravel or permeable paving allows water to infiltrate the ground. This can be a great option for walkways, driveways, and parking lots. Please see our Ecodrive 500.
  • Rain gardens: These landscaped depressions collect rainwater and filter it before it reaches waterways. They can add a touch of beauty to your development while providing valuable habitat for pollinators. Please see our EarthPress Grids.
  • Green roofs: Rooftop gardens absorb and retain rainwater, reducing runoff and providing additional environmental benefits. Please see our Ecopark. 



What does it mean for my development?

The changes may require developers to submit more detailed design proposals earlier in the planning and approval process than they are used to. Therefore, early advice in the planning process will be crucial, including understanding when SuDS approval applications need to be submitted.

In addition to planning conditions, developers may need to comply with extra conditions attached to SAB approvals. Moreover, to move a scheme forward, developers might need to allocate additional funds to cover the non-performance bond.

However, there will be transitional arrangements for developments that are already at an advanced planning stage to avoid incurring further costs.

DEFRA will consult on the statutory instruments in 2023, with the statutory provisions expected to be implemented in 2024.

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Benefits of SuDS

The implementation of SuDS offers a range of advantages, including:

Reduced flood risk

By slowing down water flow and increasing infiltration, SuDS can significantly decrease the risk of flooding, both on the development site and in surrounding areas. This is becoming increasingly important as extreme weather events become more common.

Improved water quality

As rainwater filters through SuDS, pollutants like sediment and debris are removed before it reaches rivers and streams.

Enhanced biodiversity

SuDS features like green roofs and rain gardens can create habitats for wildlife, promoting a more diverse ecosystem.

Increased Property Value

Developments that incorporate these sustainable features are becoming increasingly attractive to buyers and tenants. They can enhance the aesthetics of your development and create a more desirable living environment.

What Developers Need to Know

The new regulations will require developers to incorporate SuDS into their project plans from the early stages. This may involve:

  • Earlier design considerations: Detailed SuDS proposals might need to be submitted earlier in the planning process.
  • SuDS approval bodies: A designated body will need to approve SuDS plans before construction can begin.
  • Potential additional costs: Developers may need to factor in costs associated with SuDS design, approval, and potential non-performance bonds.
  • There are a few exceptions to the SuDS requirement, which are construction projects under 100 sqm, single properties, and Nationally Significant Infrastructure projects.

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Contact Ecodeck today to learn more about how SuDS can benefit your project.

Transition and Support

The UK government will offer guidance and support to developers as they navigate the new requirements. For more information please visit

The Future of Sustainable Drainage with Ecodeck

The implementation of mandatory SuDS represents a significant step towards more sustainable construction practices. By embracing these innovative solutions, developers can create projects that benefit both the environment and local communities.

At Ecodeck, we offer a wide range of SuDS solutions that can be integrated seamlessly into your development project. Our team of experts can work with you to ensure your SuDS plan meets your specific needs and complies with local regulations.