Article by Huw Morris for the Planner – 26 April 2017


MPs demand sustainable drainage drive to curb flooding

Government’s policies on sustainable drainage are failing to protect 
communities from flood risk and miss opportunities to improve amenity 
and the environment, according to MPs.
Government plans to deliver one million new homes by 2020 must be 
achieved without increasing flooding, MPs concluded in their inquiry 
into the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.
Planning rules must be strengthened to ensure that all new developments 
of any size are required to install high-quality sustainable drainage 
systems, they argued. Government guidance must also be tightened to 
reduce significantly the potential for developers to opt out from 
installing schemes on the grounds of cost or site practicality.
In a highly critical report, the Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural 
Affairs Committee called for a significant improvement in the number and 
quality of sustainable drainage systems, accusing the government of only 
“purporting” to support such schemes.
“Instead, it has adopted sub-standard planning policies which have led 
to far too few schemes, many of which are of low quality, being 
installed in new developments,” said committee chair Neil Parish.
MPs also demanded that construction standards for sustainable drainage 
systems are made statutory to provide a stronger basis for enforcement.

26 April 2017
Huw Morris, The Planner