Earlier last year, GeoSmart released its Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) suitability map, identifying the likelihood of infiltration SuDS for any given property address across Great Britain. The SuDSmart Reports include this data for the benefit of lawyers engaged in commercial property transactions.
Property lawyers are facing a requirement for greater due diligence on property transactions in relation to SuDS as guidance and local planning policies tighten. It is becoming essential to understand site conditions that may require SuDS as part of planning conditions or that may impact on development and ongoing maintenance costs.
Guidance on drainage in property transactions was published last year by John Bates, drainage Barrister at Old Square Chambers, who recommended that commercial property lawyers make suitable enquiries to identify whether SuDS are likely to feature as part of the drainage and flood strategy on a property;
“You should commission a pre-application SuDS report to ascertain whether SuDS are appropriate or not because this determination has important legal repercussions for your client, including the possibility of your client and its successors in title having a long-term obligation to maintain the SuDS.”
STL Group has responded by providing their commercial clients with the full range of SuDSmart reports. The SuDSmart screening report is suitable for understanding site suitability for SuDS. More detail can then be provided through the SuDSmart Plus and Pro including an outline SuDS strategy and design, to support local planning requirements whenever planning permission is required.
“We recognised the growing importance of SuDS as part of commercial site due diligence and how this could impact on our customers’ relationships with their clients.” said Alan Thorogood STL’s CEO. “Providing the best data, backed by the latest guidance to minimising transaction risk is what we are all about. We are delighted to launch SuDSmart to add value to our clients’ commercial search options.”
“We are excited to be working with STL on rolling out SuDSmart to their clients nationwide” said Stuart Pearce, Managing Director, GeoSmart. “There is clear guidance for lawyers to advise their clients that SuDS site suitability data should be obtained to alert their clients. Combining it with their regular commercial property searches means it is easier than ever before.”
The agreement with STL marks a further step in GeoSmart’s expansion into the delivery of surface water drainage information for the property transaction market.