NEW guidance on how developers help adapt to a changing climate by using greener, sustainable drainage systems has been launched by Leicester City Council.
Adapting to changing weather patterns, including heavier and more intense rainfall, is a key part of the city’s response to the climate emergency.
The use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in new development can help manage wider flood risk through a range of natural drainage processes and other measures. This can help hold back water during heavy rainfall and prevent traditional piped drainage systems from becoming overwhelmed and flooding.
Measures could include porous pavements; planting of new trees and vegetation; rainwater gardens and grassed areas, underground soakaway spaces; green roofs; and ponds or wetland areas. New development should also look to minimise hard surfacing where possible.
New guidance published by the city council aims to simplify the process of gaining planning approval for SuDS and encourage its wider use as part of new development proposals.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transport, said: “Leicester is at the forefront of delivering innovative Sustainable Drainage Systems, and we are proud to have the expertise of the UK’s first SuDS champion on our team.
“Sustainable drainage is a key part of our response to the climate emergency by helping to ensure that new development is sustainable and adapted to a changing climate and heavier rainfall.
“Along with helping to manage flood risk and improve water quality, the real beauty of SuDS is that they can have huge benefits for biodiversity and help bring more greenery, trees and landscaping into the city as part of new development.”
Chryse Tinsley, landscape planner at Leicester City Council who helped draft the new guidance, was named the UK’s first SuDS champion in 2018.
She said: “We are always keen to see more sustainable drainage in the city; and to do all we can to help achieve it. We already have lots of good local examples and hope this new easy to understand guidance will encourage developers to work with us to do lots more.”
The new Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Technical Guide will be made available to all local developers as part of the planning process. It will also be available on the city council's website at www.leicester.gov.uk