Guidance on sustainable drainage systems published by Old Square Chambers

John Bates, a Barrister at Old Square Chambers has published a guidance note for solicitors, covering sustainable drainage systems.

The note covers new planning policy changes in support of sustainable drainage systems, or “SuDS”.

John Bates writes: “Government planning policy and planning decisions now include a presumption in favour of SuDS being used for all development sites, unless they can be shown to be “inappropriate”. You have a duty of care to help your client to make a legally informed decision as to whether to buy or develop a site or property which may require the construction and long-term maintenance of a SuDS system.

“SuDS can give rise to a number of other geo-environmental issues, including flooding and contamination (e.g. if the drainage system is constructed in an area on previously developed land). Advice may be required from an independent scientific advisor which takes these related considerations into account.

“Drainage is already an important issue for clients and for lawyers. The prospect of warmer, wetter weather for the UK over the longer term means that the need for SuDS will become even more significant for clients and solicitors.”

The note covers sustainable drainage, benefits of SuDS, the hierarchy of drainage and the implications of SuDS. It also covers the solicitor’s duty of care, requirements and adoption, as well as reports and insurance.

The note also references the case of R (Menston Action Group) v City of Bradford MDC.

The guidance note can be read in full here.

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