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What are SuDS and How are they Designed?

SuDS are a type of drainage designed to manage surface water runoff, typically from new developments, in a more sustainable, natural way than by conventional drainage such as pipes and tanks.

ECC SUDS from RoboMG on Vimeo.


If you are a developer, a designer or a consultant looking for information about how to design Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) in Essex, our SuDS design guide (include link: will give guidance on our surface water drainage scheme needs. The Guide also gives advice on how to design high quality SuDS that will offer benefits to the community and the environment.

The following documents also provide guidance on how best to design sustainable drainage schemes:

  • Non-statutory technical standards for sustainable drainage systems

  • The CIRIA SuDS Manual (C753)

  • BS8582 Code of practice for surface water management for development sites.

Do I need to show you my drainage design?

Yes. As the Lead Local Flood Authority in Essex, we are the statutory body to provide advice on major planning applications including SuDS in Essex. These include developments for:

  • 10 or more houses

  • a site of over 0.5 hectares where the number of houses are unknown

  • a building greater than 1000 square metres

  • a site over 1 hectare

To apply for planning permission, you should submit any documents including any drainage information to the relevant Local Planning Authority.


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