Sustainable Drainage Design (SuDS)

All developments in Cheshire East are required to have sustainable surface water drainage systems (SuDS). This is in accordance with Cheshire East’s adopted SuD’s supplementary planning document (PDF, 160KB).

Sustainable drainage systems control surface water run-off close to where it falls and copy natural drainage as closely as possible. This helps:

  • Manage Flood Risk
  • Enhance Biodiversity
  • Improve Water Quality
  • Promote amenity spaces

Surface water management - all planning applications

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Sustainable surface water management is a material consideration for all planning applications. This means all development proposals must include a site-specific surface water drainage strategy following sustainable urban drainage guidelines (SuDS).

For detailed guidance on SuDS, see the CIRIA SuDS manual.

On greenfield sites, surface water run off must be managed as a minimum to ensure there is no increase in run off rates. Where possible, there should be a reduction in rates.

On previously-developed sites, run off proposals should demonstrate a reduction in run-off rates in line with the non-Statutory Technical Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems (2015) (or any later replacement standards).

In line with Part H of the building regulations, surface water drainage options must be considered in the following order. Moving down the hierarchy can only be agreed if it can be demonstrated that earlier options are not feasible, i.e. through soakaway tests in accordance with BRE 365.

  1. Into the ground (infiltration)
  2. To a surface water body
  3. To a surface water sewer
  4. To a combined sewer

Highways drains are not designed to take additional surface water from local developments and such connections are not accepted without extenuating circumstances.

Culverts should be opened up where possible. We will only permit the culverting of existing open watercourses if there is an overriding need and no other options are available ie short stretches to facilitate access.

Proposals must show how watercourses and riverside habitats will be conserved and enhanced.

Where surface water management plans require a connection to a United Utility sewer, or  any SuDS component which interacts with an adoptable system, contact should be made with the United Utilities sustainable drainage systems team.

Surface water management - major planning applications

The Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority, are a statutory consultee for surface water drainage on all major planning applications. To approve an application, we need to be satisfied that:

  • the proposals do not increase flood risk on or off the development site
  • do not have a negative impact on water quality within the catchment
  • there is a clear and achievable maintenance plan to ensure the system continues to work as designed
  • improves biodiversity within the riparian landscape
  • provides access to amenity spaces for the residents/ local community

A development counts as major if it involves one or more of the following: 

  • mineral extraction
  • waste development
  • more than 10 houses
  • houses on a plot with an area of 0.5 hectares or more, if the number of houses isn't known
  • floor space of a thousand square meters or more
  • a site of 1 hectare or more

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2024