SuDS principles

Sustainable drainage is a departure from the traditional approach to draining sites. There are some key principles that influence the planning and design process enabling SuDS to mimic natural drainage by:


  • storing runoff and releasing it slowly (attenuation)
  • harvesting and using the rain close to where it falls
  • allowing water to soak into the ground (infiltration)
  • Slowly transporting (conveying) water on the surface
  • filtering out pollutants
  • allowing sediments to settle out by controlling the flow of the water


Surface water is a valuable resource and this should be reflected in that way is is managed. It should be considered from the beginning of the development process and throughout, influencing the design and layout of public open space, transport networks etc. It is important, where appropriate and particularly on larger developments that an interdisciplinary team (planners, engineers, landscape architects) should work together from the outset. SuDS are very flexible and there are a number of ways that they can applied to provide great drainage that are both value for money and inspirational.

This website provides a simple overview of why and how SuDS can be delivered, the resource section provides further detail. There are many approaches to delivering SuDS, below are some key considerations:

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