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Lack of SuDS commitment ‘barrier to delivery’


The government is not fully committed to long-term delivery of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), according to industry views expressed in new research.

The lack of a clear framework for the maintenance and performance of SuDS is seen as a “key barrier” to effective delivery and adoption, according to the survey called SuDS: The State of the Nation, from Engineering Nature’s Way.

The survey, carried out between May and March but just published, shows that 79% of respondents working with SuDS on a day-to-day basis think the government is not fully committed to long-term delivery, and 72% believed it had not committed sufficient funds to ensure satisfactory flood resilience.

More than 360 detailed responses were submitted from consulting engineers, local authority professionals and developers.

Of the respondents, 69% believed that uncertainty about the maintenance and through-life performance of SuDS components is presenting barriers to adoption. Some 73% also believe more standard technical guidance is needed on the long-term maintenance of SuDS components.

“The survey provided an unprecedented level of personal insights from professionals working ‘at the coal face’ with SuDS, with over 1000 additional comments offered,” said Hydro International European sales director Phil Collins. Hydro International co-ordinates Engineering Nature’s Way.

“Strong concerns were expressed about the lack of a clear national framework for maintenance and adoption, together with uncertainty over which authorities or organisations should be liable for SuDS components over their lifecycle. Comments suggested a lack of confidence amongst some authorities about taking over ownership of SuDS from developers.

“There were also worries about the lack of arrangements in place for inspection of SuDS post-construction and for monitoring their ongoing performance, as well as for enforcement if SuDS features are not maintained as designed.  Some people felt that a clearer national policy is needed to place a duty on public authorities, including water companies, to adopt SuDS.”

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