Greenbelt welcomes move on SUDS

Alex Middleton, Chief Executive of Greenbelt, has welcomed what could be the end of a four-year stalemate in the implementation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

After a long stand-off centred on who should take ownership and maintain the new anti-flood landscape features, it is understood that through new legislative and regulatory processes local councils in England and Wales will soon be the responsible body for the approval, adoption and maintenance of SUDS for new developments.

Mr Middleton said: “Recent events have shown quite dramatically the scale and magnitude of the problems we now face in tackling urban flooding.

“Greenbelt are fully committed to introducing SUDS to help reduce the risk of such catastrophic floods – therefore, any move that could see the wider and more effective use of these drainage systems in new housing developments will not only be a boon for the new home owners themselves, but help reduce the potential impacts of flooding on existing homes and nearby businesses.

“Moving forward, SUDS must now be a key priority if we are to avoid the kind of tragic events we have seen affect so many home owners in the past few days and weeks.”

Greenbelt, which manages more than 100 SUDS nationwide, has been at the forefront of pioneering effective use of the SUDS for new developments, having invested in research with scientists at Abertay University and consulted extensively with government agencies.

As one of the UK’s leading property and land management companies, it now plans to host its own company “SUDS Summit” to investigate how it can assist the industry and its decision makers as a whole can best move forward with a coherent strategy for implementation.

Mr Middleton commented: “With an end to the delay in implementation finally on the horizon, it’s imperative that all those involved in the long term management of suds, including the private sector are engaged in the solution and provide a more coherent future for SUDS.

“This will mean addressing some serious questions. For example, we should be looking at the further development of industry tools to assist with the design and costing of both proprietary and natural SUDS, something Greenbelt has been pioneering.

“All of the matters affecting the use of SUDS will directly or indirectly affect not only those involved in development and land management and ownership, but business premises and individual home owners.”

Greenbelt is inviting all of those interested in the future of SUDS to email their thoughts, questions and suggestions to help build its forum for informed discussion and debate, so that Greenbelt can assist in contributing to the solution.

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