From the 6th April 2015 it became compulsory for sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) to be considered in the planning applications for major developments (defined as 10 or more residential dwellings, or industrial developments of more the 1000 m2). These drainage systems should aim to mimic the natural systems in place before development, and have three main objectives: quantity of water drained, quality of water entering watercourses and amenity and biodiversity provided by the systems. Ambiental is well equipped to develop such plans, with the launch of a new integrated Ecology Assessment service which will run alongside the current Flood Risk Assessments, ensuring that SUDS plans meet their biodiversity needs. Our service and approach to SuDS will allow developers to ensure the sustainability of new developments, and tackle planning applications in a more coherent and holistic manner.
Sustainable urban drainage systems not only ensure the proposed development has sufficient water management systems in place, but also provide methods for minimising the impact of your development on the local ecology. Therefore, by developing SuDS early on in the planning process, it is possible to also ensure the ecological sustainability of your site in a more holistic manner.
Common examples of sustainable drainage systems include green roofs, ponds and wetlands, all of which have beneficial impacts on wildlife by providing new habitats, as well as slowing the flow of water, and increasing the amenity of the development. By taking into account amenity and water quality as well as flood risk, SuDS can allow developers to address multiple requirements in one, whereby streamlining the pre-application process. SuDS may also be able to assist new development to be undertaken in areas where the existing sewers are at or close to capacity, as the systems aim to reduce runoff to sewers wherever possible, preferring instead to slow the flow of water and capture it in ponds and wetlands.
Ambiental currently offers a sector-leading Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) service, which is important in giving you a better understanding of how flooding could affect your development. An FRA considers water from rivers, the sea and rainfall, as well as using scientific methods and our unique UKFloodMap4™ data, to assess how groundwater and sewer flooding could affect a property. As part of this service recommendations are given by our highly experienced team for surface water management and a sustainable urban drainage system.
Now Ambiental is launching a new ecology service, in collaboration with trusted associates. This new service will allow a holistic approach to the development of pre-application reports, with Ambiental not only able to offer highly accurate flood risk assessments, but also integrate these with Ecological Surveys to produce a coherent SuDS plan for your development. Through our ecology surveys, we identify any ecological constraints to developing a site and will be able to help you build a holistic SUDS plan that can alleviate some of these constraints by not only managing flood risk but also creating new habitats.
If you are developing a site or changing land use, you will need a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA), formerly known as an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey. This is the most common type of habitat survey for planning applications, which classifies all the different habitats found on the site and assesses the implications the proposed development could have on those habitats. Practical measures that will preserve important habitats and encourage biodiversity are proposed as part of the PEA, and our new combined service means that these can be integrated into SUDS plans. Get in touch to see how we can help with your development.