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Planning and development related to drainage


The National Planning Policy Framework sets out Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied, including how flood risk and drainage should be considered. From 6 April 2015, the Government strengthened planning policy by making SuDS a material consideration in planning for major development. This aims to ensure that sustainable drainage systems for the management of run-off are put in place.

South Gloucestershire builds on national guidance and sets out local strategies and polices to meet housing and economic development growth.

See the attached “Planning” document that expands on the National Planning Policy and sets out local policy and this relates to drainage infrastructure, including the Core Strategy, the evolving Policies, Sites and Places Development Plan, and the Strategic Flood Risk Assessments required to support planning policy.

The document also describes the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment we are required to determine sources of local flood risk, the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy that sets out how will manage local flood risk in a coordinated way, and the West of England Sustainable Drainage Developer Guide that signposts existing policy and guidance to support the delivery of a sustainable approach to the drainage of new development in our sub-region.

Developers and designers

Our “Developers and Designers” document defines the process and what is required when submitting drainage proposals for new developments; this includes the Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) required in support of most planning applications, and advice on sustainable drainage, development drainage strategies, and other design issues.

Further details are given relating to other development and design issues including the Water Framework Directive and water quality, climate change and urban creep, and the various consents that may be required for your proposals.

Land and homeowners

All development and land-use management has an impact on local drainage and flood risk management. The “Land and Homeowners” document provides guidance on range of such issues.

If you are considering a new or replacement driveway, the choice of surfacing materials may contribute to local flooding so permeable (or porous) materials are strongly encouraged. The section driveways and paving explains this in full detail.

The “Homes, is house in Flood Zone before you buy” section recommends that potential flood risk is considered by anyone purchasing a new home, constructing a new building or extending an existing dwelling, and provides guidance on go about this. Advice on the impact on building insurance for development in flood zones is also given.

Information is provided farmers/landowners on land-use management to prevent rainwater from carrying off topsoil the watercourses and the ‘riparian landowner’ obligations to maintain the conveyance of water flowing through watercourses.

Further details are given relating to other development and design issues including the Water Framework Directive and water quality, and the various consents that may be required for your proposals.

Surface water management

As of April 2015, all major planning applications have to demonstrate the use of sustainable drainage as part of their development. South Gloucestershire Council, as Lead Local Flood Authority, is now a statutory consultee on these planning applications.

Our “Surface Water Management” document sets out how sustainable drainage (SuDS) should be delivered in South Gloucestershire. This includes SuDS guidance for developers and further information to inform and supplement any flood risk/drainage assessment, surface water drainage strategy and detailed design.


The Abbreviations and definitions and “Frequently Asked Questions” documents provide additional useful information covering flooding and drainage related terms and issues.

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