Sustainable Drainage Systems set to become mandatory in England

Recent decades in Britain and Ireland have been warmer, wetter and sunnier than in the last century, with last year the warmest on record –

Higher than average winter rainfall, including in December and January (to date) is also an increasing climate change pattern, with Christmas day in Ireland the wettest ever recorded in some locations –

Average temperatures and associated flooding events for the UK and Ireland continue to increase, with nearly a degree of warming when comparing the most recent 30 years with the preceding 30-year period recorded by the Met Office. New developments can inadvertently add to surface and sewer flood risk by covering permeable surfaces like grassland and soil that would otherwise assist in dealing with heavy rainfall.

Following a review period by Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and the National Infrastructure Commission, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) techniques will now be made mandatory for new developments in England (, to help reduce the risk of flooding and pollution. This follows on from SuDS drainage methods being made mandatory in Scotland and Ireland.

Following the review, regulations and processes for the provision of SuDS on new developments will now be devised, through the implementation of Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Implementation of the new approach is expected during 2024.

Blueroof systems, green roofs and porous paving systems will play an important role in helping to meet strict site discharge limits and control surface water run off. This will reduce the risk of surface water flooding, pollution and help alleviate the pressures on our traditional drainage systems by limiting the amount of water that ends up in sewer and storm overflow discharges.
St James Quarter, blueroof installation, Edinburgh