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Cambridgeshire County Council is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and as such is a statutory consultee to the planning process for surface water on all major developments. The consultation requirement and description of major development is detailed within the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure Order). This applies to all new major planning applications. 

New National Planning Practice Guidance and non statutory technical standards for sustainable drainage systems will aid our responses to consultations. 

Flood and Water Supplementary Planning Document

Cambridgeshire County Council, in its capacity as LLFA endorsed the Cambridgeshire Flood & Water Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on 14 July 2016. It is planned that the SPD will be adopted by the county’s five Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in due course.

The SPD was prepared in conjunction with the LPAs and other relevant stakeholders including the Environment Agency, water companies and Internal Drainage Boards, to support the implementation of flood risk and water related policies in the Local Plans. In its role as a statutory consultee for surface water drainage, the LLFA will follow the guidance in this SPD. 

Advice to developers

In addition to the SPD, we have published more specific guidance on the preparation of surface water drainage strategies. This provides information on the level of detail we require depending on the type of planning application. This guidance document should be used by all developers and their consultants.

Surface Water Guidance

May 2018

Size: 587.93 KB File format: pdf

Pre-application advice

In order to provide additional support to developers and their consultants we offer a pre-application advice service for all scales of development. We offer several forms of advice including:

  • Written advice only - Most suited to developers who have already advanced quite far with their drainage strategies and are looking for a review of their proposals.
  • Meeting with LLFA Officer & written advice – Most suited to developers who have ideas about how to approach their drainage strategy but who would like to discuss the detail with officers. Each meeting is followed up with a written summary of the meeting.

The pre-application advice service is structure to provide ‘in principle’ feedback on proposals as well as more detailed discussions and negotiations on a scheme prior to formal submission of a planning application.

If you wish to take up our pre-application service or would like to discuss comments made by the LLFA in response to a planning application, please see the charging schedule and online application form below (as there may be charge for this service).

Apply and pay for Surface Water Drainage pre-application advice

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) mimic natural drainage to manage surface water run-off from a development. SuDS allow for the collection, storage and treatment of surface water in order to reduce flood risk caused by development. SuDS generally replace traditional underground, piped drainage systems. The aim of SuDS is to keep water on the surface as much as possible. They can integrated into both rural and urban developments.

Benefits of SuDS

  • Provides the potential to re-connect societies with water, providing benefits for amenity, health and well-being.
  • SuDS can provide new natural habitats, connecting nature and wildlife with urban environments
  • Keeping water on the surface allows any problems to be identified and managed quickly. Management of SuDS features can generally be cheaper, less time consuming and more straight-forwards than conventional drainage systems.

Examples of SuDS features

Attenuation basins/ ponds

A pond or basin designed to store water during a storm and release it slowly in a controlled way. Attenuation basins can hold water permanently in a pond or wetland or can act as temporary storage features, remaining dry for most of the time but filling up during extreme rainfall events. Permanent storage features can promote biodiversity through creation of natural habitat such as reed beds. These reed beds also filter water, improving water quality.

We have created a number of SuDS case studies of sites across Cambridgeshire that can be viewed below:

Eddington - Attenuation basin and swales

Case study

Size: 647.34 KB File format: pdf

Fen Drayton - Permeable paving and attenuation pond installation

Case Study

Size: 678.92 KB File format: pdf

Clay Farm - Green roofs and attenuation lakes

Case study

Size: 660.73 KB File format: pdf

Loves Farm - Shallow swales and attenuation ponds

Case Study

Size: 581.96 KB File format: pdf

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