Enabling retrofitting

The different bodies responsible for the management and development of urban areas have traditionally regularly worked in isolation, so often do not achieve all the benefits that might be possible with a more integrated approach. For example, it is not unusual to see major highway resurfacing projects aimed at creating a better urban space failing to achieve any benefits in managing urban flood risk. This should be considered to be a missed opportunity.


UK legislation (eg Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009) now require responsible bodies to cooperate and work more closely together to manage flood risk. Opportunities to create wider benefits from any retrofitting in urban areas should no longer be missed.


Local planning policies help promote SuDS retrofitting. For example current and future surface water management plans (SWMPs) or master plans provide the opportunity for a range of stakeholders to work together beyond their responsibilities to enhance services and infrastructure with clear time lines and objectives.


Understanding the benefits of retrofitting and where it can make a difference can influence and support GI strategies (and other documents like Highway Authority guidance on road design). Understanding the interactions and synergies between SWMPs, GI strategies and other relevant planning documents will be useful in fully exploiting benefits.


Retrofitting SuDS need to become part of the strategic plans of all relevant stakeholders, and these plans should fit together to make one coherent strategy. This will need more forward planning and greater sharing of information and aspirations than has been traditional practice.


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