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Drainage Strategy for Planning Applications

Fast & Reliable Reports to Accompany your Planning Submissions

Chartered Drainage Engineers, Experts in Drainage Strategies

Our drainage strategy assesses the most sustainable way to discharge water safely whilst complying with the Local Drainage guidelines and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). We also evaluate the management of foul water and determine whether the existing public sewer network requires an upgrade.

Our experience allows us to manage water under challenging sites such as flood zone areas, contaminated land, steep or flat slopes or areas located within groundwater protection areas. Our drainage assessments take into consideration the results of the flood risk assessment and drainage strategy guidance.

Our Drainage Strategy Report

Our reports comply with the lead local flood authority standards, the national guidelines, the CIRIA Sustainable Drainage Systems Manual and Sewer for Adoption 8. See below for a list of our pricing:

Drainage Strategy Single House
From £700.00
Building extensions or change of use with less than 100 sqm.
Drainage Strategy Minor Development
From £950.00
Developments of fewer than 9 dwellings or of industrial units smaller than 3000 sqm. 
Drainage Strategy Major Development
From £1,650.00
Developments of industrial/office units bigger than 0.5 Ha or of more than 10 dwellings.
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How Do We Work?

UrbanWater Go Head Flood Risk Drainage
Go Ahead

We will get the available soil information from online databases and (if required) scope the soakaway tests.

Urban Water Initial Finding Flood Risk Drainage
48 Hours Later

You receive our drainage layouts based on expected infiltration rates and public sewer capacity.

Drainage Strategy
Submit Our Report

You will be able to utilise our report to register or validate your planning application. We will support you through the planning process.

Urban Water Submit Report Flood Risk Drainage

We will obtain quotes for soakaways, contact the local water company and agree the drainage design with the lead local flood authority.

Drainage Strategy
Drainage Strategy Fully Compliant with Local and National Standards

Fully Approved by the LLFA
Compliant with the water company standards
Exceedance paths assessed
Maintenance schedule
Water quality assessment
All the network modelled using Windes.

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Our Benefits


First report ready in 48hrs. This allows you to register your planning application.


We are versatile experts on the creation of drainage design, meeting the local drainage and water company standards.


We have 100% success on obtaining planning using our drainage strategies.

No Hidden Fees

Fixed price for all of our drainage strategies.

Our Sustainable Drainage Strategy Methodology

Our partnership ethos allows us to incorporate benefits into the design at a very early stage. We have worked with developers, contractors, architects and planning consultants to create sustainable developments in which water plays a fundamental part.

urban water location flood risk
Obtain project Details

We obtain your development’s drawings and topographical survey levels in mAOD and site location.

Flood Risk Assessment
Consult Authorities

We consult the local water company, the lead local drainage authority and the local council and obtain their records to give the development more certainty on the approval.

Urban Water Flood Risk Drainage Design
Scope Investigations

We scope the soakaways. When required, we obtain quotes from our recommended contractors.

Flood Risk Assessment
Design and Model

Our designs reflect the most suitable and sustainable drainage system for the soil type, and the quantity and quality of water.  

We are proactive engineers who understand the need for efficient and sustainable drainage solutions within developments. As drainage strategy consultants, we create long-standing partnerships with architects and developers.

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Other Services

Flood Risk Assessment
Our reliable flood risk assessments aid the progress of your planning application. 
Foul Water Drainage Design
Our drainage designs are fully adoptable by water companies and are in compliance with building regulations. 
Sustainable Drainage System
Our detailed sustainable drainage designs are fully adoptable and approved by the council. 
Climate Change Adaptation
We aim to protect communities by using green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to Zero Carbon. 
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a drainage strategy?

The lead local flood authority requires a drainage strategy for all major developments in England. A drainage strategy aims to determine the most sustainable way to disperse and discharge water without causing flooding to others and the development. A drainage strategy includes assessing the soil conditions, the discharge points and the suitability of multiple sustainable drainage systems such as swales, ponds, block paving and water butts.

How do you manage a drainage system?

SuDS should be designed according to the following standards:

  • Designed and located to facilitate maintenance.
  • Suitably surfaced access tracks for access to the SuDS.
  • Controls and de-silting features should be easily accessible from the surface.
  • Silt traps should be accessible for manual clearance or suction vehicles.
  • Separator should not require man-entry for inspection or emptying.
Drainage Strategy

The Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) maintenance activities are fully paid for by the developer unless adopted by a statutory authority such as the local council. This adoption can be achieved using the Section 106 agreement/separate agreement with the City, district, town or parish council. As part of this agreement, a service management company or private individual/individuals pay Commuted Sums for maintenance.

The local water company can also maintain sustainable drainage systems. SuDS can also be supported by the local water company using an adoption process. The sustainable system design must follow the rules in the Design and Construction Guidance (DCG) document. These rules apply to all water and sewerage companies in England from 1 April 2020.

What is a drainage assessment or SuDS report?

A drainage assessment is a specific requirement for all major applications by the lead local flood authority. The Drainage Assessment may be part of the Flood Risk Assessment or vice versa. A drainage assessment includes the best practice design for the safe disposal of surface water run-off. It includes information on the detailed design, management and maintenance of surface water management systems.

For some councils, soakaway tests to BRE365 must be undertaken at the planning stage. 

Is Thames Water responsible for my drains?

It depends. As a rule, a public sewer becomes public when two pipes from different sites/dwelling areas join into a manhole. If the manholes at which the two pipes join and the pipe downstream is a public sewer, Thames Water is responsible for its maintenance.

Thames Water shares maintenance responsibility of the pipe from the boundary chamber (the last chamber within your property) and the public sewer.

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What are surface water drainage systems?

Surface water drainage systems are a group of structures that act to manage and dispose of rainwater falling onto a development. Rainwater is collected as close as possible to the roofs or surface, permitting water to evaporate, retain or soak into the ground, for example, by using green roofs and permeable surfaces that allow infiltration. The extra runoff water can be discharged using ponds or drained to the nearest watercourse. This additional runoff should be released at the same rate and volume or lower as would naturally have occurred before development.

In the past (and still today), underground piped systems were used to rapidly divert and move surface water runoff to local watercourses or sewer systems. This process did not allow water to soak into the ground and enter the natural water cycle. This system reduces the environment’s capacity to rapidly recharge groundwater aquifers, disrupting the base flow in streams and rivers. Moreover, underground piped systems move water faster, which can increase the risk of downstream flooding and lead to a deterioration of water quality.

Sustainable Drainage Paving

Can Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) be adopted?

Yes. There are four options for developers to adopt and maintain surface water drainage systems SuDS:

  1. The local sewerage undertaker or water company could adopt and maintain all SuDS except permeable surfaces, water butts, green roofs and rainwater gardens.
  2. Adoption could be agreed upon through a Section 106 (of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) agreement/separate agreement with the city, district, town or parish council and pay the Commuted Sums for the maintenance.
  3. The developer can set up or use a service management company.
  4. The SuDS can be adopted and maintained by private individuals when the SuDS serve individual properties.
  5. The highways authority can adopt and maintain SuDS that serve only the highway.
Drainage Strategy

The adoption and maintenance of all surface water drainage within a development would have to be discussed and agreed upon with the local planning and lead local flood authorities.

How do sustainable urban drainage systems work?

Sustainable urban drainage systems bring water closer to people and create streetscapes where people and communities interact.

What is the cost of a drainage strategy?

The cost of a drainage strategy is between £500.00 and £2,500.00. The cost depends on the size of the development. Extensions and smaller developments have lower prices. 

How SuDS are incorporated in the development?

The SuDS in urban environments also work by achieving the principles of controlling water volumes, reducing temperatures of surfaces, and making stable urban environments more resistant to drought and flooding. To achieve these principles, places where water interaction is possible, should be introduced. For example, green walls, rainwater gardens, street water gardens, reflective ponds, water playscapes and plant drills.