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Surface water management and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

As Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), Cheshire West and Chester Council is a statutory consultee for surface water drainage on planning applications for all major developments.

Major developments are defined by The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 as development involving one or more of the following:

  • The winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;
  • Waste development;
  • Residential development of 10 or more houses;
  • Residential development carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known how many properties are planned to be developed;
  • Development where the building or buildings floor space exceeds 1,000 square metres; or,
  • Development carried out on a site of one hectare or more.

Part of the Council's role in managing flood risk is to ensure that major development does not increase the risk of flooding onsite or elsewhere. This can be achieved through the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS control surface water runoff close to where it falls and copy natural drainage as closely as possible. This helps:

  • Reduce the risk of flooding;
  • Reduce the harm caused by any floods that do happen;
  • Remove pollutants at source; and,
  • Provide opportunities to combine water management with green space for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Sustainable surface water management is a material consideration for plan​ning applications. This means all development proposals must include a site-specific surface water drainage strategy following sustainable drainage guidelines (SuDS).​