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5 Q What do stakeholders need to do to position SuDS high on the priority list when new developments are being considered? Working together to enable good practice is a common theme, and as BWB says “while the standards do not give SuDS full recognition, they do provide a minimum structure that can be added to and strengthened locally". With support of the SuDS manual and BeST this is seen as a step-change. CD suggests a combination of good practice implementation and additional commitment by government, for example on the issue of right to connect, to effectively increase the uptake of SuDS. BS believes fundamental attitudes and cultures need to change, and to be truly effective he wants local champions within organisations to help build capacity, capability and ultimately confidence. The experts concur that delivering good SuDS requires an alchemy of the following critical elements to enable their acceptance as an everyday occurrence in both new development and retrofit: Planners hold many critical cards they need to be well informed to make confident choices and decisions. The industry needs to talk more about SuDS – work together and collaborate. Processes for adoption need to be clear and straightforward for it to work effectively within the current planning framework. Water companies should seize opportunities to become better connected with SuDS – perhaps they could take on a SuDS adoption role to provide the simplicity and clarity that process needs at strategic as well as at local planning level. Government should review the possibility of having an independent agency for adoption processes. Continued research and funding is required on water quality, costs and benefits of SuDS, and improved monitoring of schemes. CIRIA need to continue fighting the good fight by accessing the ‘in-betweeners’, ie those who are ready to be convinced and informed about SuDS, and this will be where dissemination of the SuDS manual, BeST and susdrain should be focused. “Time will tell how successful the recent changes to the planning system regarding SuDS have been. I don’t believe that they will make a great deal of difference, but I may be wrong. It will depend on how proactive developers turn out to be and how forward looking planning authorities are willing and able to be”. Brian Morrow, United Utilities


evolutionSummer2015
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