Innovative data reports support appropriate and compliant development against flood risk
Understanding how a site will respond to surface water flooding and drainage is now a key factor for Local Authorities in consideration of planning submissions for property development.
From 6th April 2015, guidance from Defra states that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are required for all new major developments in England, unless it can be proved they are inappropriate. The National Planning Policy Framework states that all new developments in areas at risk of flooding should give priority to the use of SuDS.
Architects, planning consultants and developers must consider the site at the initial master planning stage to identify drainage options and risks.
In response, GeoSmart has launched SuDSmart – a first in the market for property professionals. Built upon GeoSmart’s rich heritage of hydrogeological modelling from its sister company ESI, SuDSmart helps architects, planning consultants and developers assess which drainage options are available for a site in order to comply.
Built on the National GeoSmart SD50 SuDS Infiltration Map, property professionals can identify where they can comply with Local Authority sustainable drainage requirements and factor in both land and design costs in the project as a result.
The SuDSmart report range offers three options:
- SuDSmart reveals areas of suitability for infiltration of surface water into a sustainable system.
- SuDSmart Plus adds runoff volumes and flows to inform an initial SuDS design strategy as part of initial discussions with the planning authority.
- SuDSmart Pro adds preliminary design options and an outline SuDS strategy
The reports provide an ideal fit to the project workflow, supporting pre-application discussions on site suitability and complying with guidance from LASSO (Local Authority Suds Officers Organisation):
“It is highly recommended that pre-application discussions take place before submitting an application to the local planning authority. Ideally, these discussions should start at the land acquisition due diligence stage and continue as part of the pre-planning application process.”
SuDSmart reports deliver concise and conclusive site information, with an easy to read “traffic light” risk rating format. Clear recommendations are given on site suitability for infiltration of surface water. GeoSmart’s experienced hydrogeologists have excellent relationships with Local Authorities and regulators and will apply this insight to detailed site appraisal and design options to support compliance and assist in the application process.
Stuart Pearce, Managing Director, GeoSmart said: “SuDS feasibility is becoming an ever more critical factor in development site design. As our climate changes, more extreme weather events demand that we minimise impact to communities and manage risks in a more sustainable manner.”
“SuDSmart is the first of its kind for architects, planning consultants and developers to understand the risks and support successful and appropriate planning applications for drainage design and stay onside with the local authority.”