More calls for SuDS regulation

By providing solutions which are always fully accessible for inspection and maintenance – something no crate system will ever be – Tubosider are among the leaders in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).

Tubosider believe that any system claiming to be SuDS compliant must be readily maintainable throughout the full service life of the system. If it’s not maintainable, it can’t be sustainable.

What’s more, as the development and importance of SuDS have continued to grow, the recyclability of steel puts us in a different league of sustainability from manufacturers of plastic or concrete systems.

As it stands, however, regulation making SuDS compulsory for new developments has been delayed by government uncertainty over proposed national standards.

Local Authority SuDS Approving Bodies (SABs) were due to begin work assessing SuDS schemes on new developments from October 2012. However, Defra then deferred the date for SABs to begin the assessments.

According to the British Water SuDS Focus Group, it may be that local government and industry believe the standards are not yet fit for purpose, with the consultation process producing calls for greater clarity.

As floods continue to blight the UK in 2014, years after a previous round of floods in 2007 prompted a review of SuDs, there are still no workable plans for SuDS in place – despite the fact that they can be used to reduce the impact of development on flooding and the environment.

That review called on the Government to make a decision on where responsibility for SuDs should rest, and the latest flooding only goes to emphasise the urgency of the situation. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee has also made it clear that Defra should do more to encourage retrofitting of SuDS.

The Government has promised detailed guidelines to accompany the National Standards, which are then likely to need agreeing by industry before the new SuDS approval system begins, with calls for the guidance to be binding, not just advisory.