Amenity benefits

Good SuDS design can deliver attractive, pleasant, useful and fundamentally “liveable” urban environments that improve local communities. Amenity can be defined as “a useful or pleasant facility or service” which can include tangible or non-tangible benefits (such as pleasure or aesthetic appreciation). Amenity also covers liveability, which is associated with factors that improve the quality of life. Liveability encompasses the well being of a community and the individuals and comprises the many characteristics that make a location a place where people want to live and work.

Using SuDS can enrich our towns and cities by improving the quality of our places and spaces. Water managed on the surface, can provide habitat for flora and fauna, reduce summer temperatures and influence the sense of community in an area. SuDS provide opportunities for water to be visible and audible as it travels through the landscape. Good SuDS design often provides amenity benefits while delivering water quantity, water quality and biodiversity benefits. Some of these amenity benefits are covered in our section on SuDS benefits.

Amenity and biodiversity has traditional been considered together, but they are each important in their own right and their interaction should be recognised by designers.

Several studies have identified the added value associated with the proximity of premises to open water areas. The resulting values, which range between 2% and 19%, suggest that land values and house prices located adjacent to SuDS water features may attract a 10% premium on resale.


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