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Do I need approval?

Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act came into effect on the 7th January 2019. As such, any development that is more than one dwelling or where the area of land covered by construction work is 100 square meters or more will require approval by the SuDS Approval Body (SAB) prior to any construction work. 

From this date onwards, developments must be designed and built in accordance with the Statutory Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Please Note

 Please Note:

  • Permitted Development is not excluded from the above.
  • Approval must be issued prior to construction work with drainage implications commencing.
  • This Process is in addition to and is outside requirements of the  Town and Country Planning Act

Construction work is defined in Regulation as:

  • Anything done by way of, in connection with or in preparation for the creation of a building or other structure
  • and construction work has drainage implications if the building or structure will affect the ability of land to absorb rainwater.

Exemptions to Approval

The regulations state that the below development/construction work is exempt from the requirements for SAB approval:

  • Construction work carried out by an internal drainage board in exercise of its functions under the Land Drainage Act 1991
  • Construction work carried out for the purpose or in connection with a road for which the Welsh Ministers  are the highway authority.
  • Construction work carried out for the purpose or in connection with a railway by Network Rail.
  • Where planning permission was granted or deemed to be granted prior to 7th January 2019
  • Where the local planning authority received a valid application for planning permission prior to 7th January 2019

Transitional Exemptions of Approval

The requirement for SAB approval and adoption agreements for surface water drainage applies only to new developments and is not retrospective. Existing sites and developments with planning permission granted or deemed to be granted (unless subject to reserved matters – see below), or for which a valid application had been received but not determined by 7 January 2019 will not be required to apply for SAB approval.

Permitted developments of more than 100 square meters which are notified after 7 January 2019 will require SAB approval.

SAB approval will be required if the planning permission was granted subject to a condition as to a reserved matter and an application for approval of the reserved matter is not made before 7 January 2020.

Does This Apply to Me?

If you are unsure as to whether you require approval, please contact the SAB via email at or if you would like assistance with your application, please visit our Pre-Application Advice web page.

How to Apply

To make a Sustainable drainage application, please visit the Sustainable drainage application page.

To make a Pre-application to the Sustainable Drainage Approval Body please visit the Pre-application page.