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Design of surface water drainage systems

What are the requirements for surface water drainage on new developments?

From April 2015 the requirements for design of surface water drainage on new developments were strengthened. Changes to planning legislation requires the Local Planning Authority to consult with the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) on all major applications. In the East Riding, the Lead Local Flood Authority is also the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

The government have stipulated that planning authorities are expected to:

  • Consult LLFAs for advice regarding surface water management
  • Satisfy themselves that the national minimum standards of operation for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are appropriate
  • Ensure through the use of planning conditions or planning obligations that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development.


The council, as the LLFA and LPA, has developed a combined planning note and standing advice for the use of applicants and decision makers to help them make and determine an application respectively:

Surface Water Drainage Systems Design - standing advice (pdf 216kb opens in new window)

For further information about flooding in the East Riding please visit our flooding pages.

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What is a sustainable drainage system (SuDS)?

Sustainable drainage is a departure from the traditional approach to draining sites. There are some key principles that influence the planning and design process enabling SuDS to mimic natural drainage by:

  • storing runoff and releasing it slowly (attenuation)
  • allowing water to soak into the ground (infiltration)
  • slowly transporting (conveying) water on the surface
  • filtering out pollutants
  • allowing sediments to settle out by controlling the flow of the water


For more information about SuDS please visit the Susdrain website:

Susdrain (external website)

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What guidance is available for the design of surface water drainage systems?

The council is currently developing its own guidance and specification. In the meantime the following accredited standards will be considered:

Department of Transport Design Manual for Roads and Bridges: Volume 4 (external website)

WRC Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition (external website)

The Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Manual (C697) CIRIA

Planning for SuDS (C687) CIRIA

Retrofitting to manage surface water (C713) CIRIA

Site handbook for the construction of SuDS (C698) CIRIA

Ciria (external website)

The applicant should refer to the standing advice when applying these standards.

Further information

You can get further information by contacting our Flood Risk Management Team:



(01482) 395656


Flood Risk Management
Room AS67
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
HU17 9B

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