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BS sees CIRIA as being “the main body to 4 advance consciousness and understanding of SuDS within the UK”. CD agrees that CIRA’s role is one that “maintains a constant dialogue around the theme of SuDS, highlighting and plugging knowledge gaps”, while BWB views CIRIA as “managing and encouraging further research, providing clarity and maintaining SuDS high on the political agenda". It is the collaborative nature and independence of CIRIA in delivering good practice guidance that BM believes is where the credibility of its outputs lie. Q Where are SuDS going in the next 10 years and what will be the critical issues facing practitioners and planners? DB sees future uncertainty with adoption procedures, suggesting that there should be “an adopting agency with the capacity and capability to adopt” as a solution; something similar to the familiar and uncomplicated process for piped systems. He believes this may have failed in the hands of some LPAs due “to the failure to enable legislation, but, more importantly, a failure to address the availability of the finance needed to secure long-term maintenance and renewal”. ‘Seeing the light’ and ‘believers’ are common, almost biblical terms used by some to describe a strong, but minority force of SuDS champions and designers. However, according to CD it is the ‘in-betweeners’ who really need convincing by having the right tools available to enable SuDS to be delivered effectively. He thinks water companies have great potential in developing a bigger role around SWM. Their strategic plans and frameworks for collaboration offer a platform to incorporate SuDS into their agendas. CD highlights the need for further evidence on water quality in terms of risk assessment from different land uses and the mitigation provided by SuDS components. This may well be significant, possibly in time for a third edition of the SuDS manual, something CD envisages happening within the next 10 years. While BWB thinks changes within the planning system will have a short-term impact, in the longer term she views strategic issues will arise from lack of physical space and therefore a perceived inability to implement SuDS. This may be compounded by increased pressure to build more housing very quickly. The critical issue will be getting SuDS onto the planning agenda from the start. This relates to BM’s concern that planners need to become better informed about where and when to best to incorporate SuDS. BWB notes that it shouldn’t be all about new development, but as equally about opportunistic ‘nibbling’ of hard surfaces and strategic approaches towards retrofitting, particularly in tight urban environments. Q How will changes to the regulatory requirements for SUDS impact delivery? How do you see CIRIA’s guidance supporting this and what else can CIRIA do to support the delivery of the best SuDS possible? Critical and at a much higher level there is a general belief that legislation and regulation need to be aligned better. Clarity over adoption and responsibilities for maintenance is considered as crucial, BS believes that interpretation of the Water Industry Act (WIA) 1991 differs from one Water and Sewerage Company (WaSC ) to another, adding that “it is essential that legal impediments to adoption by WaSCs are overcome and LPAs will need to work closely with LLFAs and WaSCs to provide a seamless and consistent process”. DB sees the attractions in such a shift in policy around having “a clear mechanism in place to ensure the necessary long-term finance to support maintenance and renewal” as well as “the required technical capability to manage the adoption process. As a result DB thinks SuDS would not be separated from conventional drainage, thus enabling mixed systems to be effectively developed and “planners and developers would be much more certain of what they needed to do”. To deliver SuDS efficiently there is a need to consider the economics that can support the case for their implementation. Long-term management and maintenance is a critical driver behind whether SuDS will be implemented or not. CD believes that if an effective case can be demonstrated on how SuDS has directly increased the value of property and the developer has profited, then a major step will have been taken. In effect, financial accountability and affordability will determine whether SuDS get built. BWB states that practitioners need to “talk to each other – the benefits of SuDS are numerous and so much can be achieved through collaborative working”. In addition she notes that “if well informed, it can be the communities that are the driving force behind a scheme”. While not mandatory, a shift towards planning for SuDS could bring multiple benefits and offer huge incentives for many stakeholders. As BM notes “it is the planning authority that hold all the key cards – they have the ability to make things happen”. BS believes that “many of the pieces of the jigsaw are already there. CIRIA can help galvanise relationships and partnerships through wider dissemination”. WATER “CIRIA has to be commended for providing training, keeping a constant dialogue and visibility around SuDS. I think susdrain is well respected and an excellent site as a resource and I think it is viewed as the premier source for SuDS information". Christopher Digman, MWH Global “Although LPAs are well placed to ensure that SuDS are properly considered in the determination of planning applications, the ability of planners to assess complex information regarding flood risk might prove difficult, particularly where a developer and LLFA disagree about the viability of using SuDS within a development". Brian Smith, Yorkshire Water Green roof and swale


evolutionSummer2015
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