National Infrastructure Commission
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Commission welcomes move to more sustainable drainage for new developments

Government has accepted a key recommendation from a recent Commission study on addressing surface water flooding

The government has today (10 January 2023) announced its intention to implement Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act in England (subject to consultation). This shift in policy will make sustainable drainage solutions the default for almost all new developments in England, and make the right to connect surface water runoff to public sewers conditional upon the drainage system being approved before construction.

The move was recommended by the Commission in its recent study on addressing Surface Water Flooding.

Implementing the Schedule in England will also see a new framework for the approval and adoption of drainage systems, a sustainable drainage system approving body within unitary and county councils, and national standards on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of sustainable drainage systems.

Professor Jim Hall, National Infrastructure Commissioner, said:

“Last month the Commission recommended Schedule 3 was implemented in England without delay, as the first of a number of recommendations for addressing the growing risks of surface water flooding. Making sustainable systems the default for new developments and introducing a more consistent approach to design will help address the problem at source. It makes both economic and environmental sense and, while we await further details and the outcome of the forthcoming consultation, this is undoubtedly a positive move which we hope can be brought into practice as soon as possible.”

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