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Clandeboye Rainwater Garden, Bangor - light case study


The rainwater garden is located on the grounds of Clandeboye Primary School in Bangor, Co Down, within an existing green space interspaced with mature trees and close to a dense residential area near the town centre. The sustainable urban drainage (SuDs) features were proposed by Northern Ireland Water (NIW) to resolve two surface water management issues: an increase in storm water volume and an existing culvert capacity issue resulting in out of sewer flooding in times of heavy rainfall.

In parallel to the surface water issues in the area, NIW and its parent department, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) were keen to promote and demonstrate the effectiveness of SuDs within the urban environment. Particularly innovative was the use of “soft SuDs” as a sustainable yet effective tool to manage surface water and reduce both the risk of flooding and carbon footprint. NIW successfully secured funding from the DfI Special Fund for SuDs demonstration projects. 

The scheme’s location within the grounds of a local primary school added a significant challenge due to concerns about the risk posed to children by the introduction of an open water feature, making stakeholder buy in more difficult. Key to the acceptance of the project was the support by the School Principal and Board of Governors who endorsed the project given its potential not only to help control surface water, but also to provide an additional educational resource, visual amenity and add an element of play and fun to school life.

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