“No immunity” from flood bill

Greater investment is needed to encourage innovative thinking for sustainable urban drainage solutions, according to Polypipe WMS director Dr Jason Shingleton.

“We [Polypipe] have and will continue to invest heavily in new products and ideas but we can only do that if given the scope and flexibility to do so,” he said.

Speaking at Polypipe’s seminar SUDS: Planning for Change, Shingleton told delegates that design and innovation are “key” to creating SUDS solutions.

He added that practitioners should be give a free rein for sustainable solutions. “We’ve got some of the best engineers in the world in the UK. We should give them guidance on the standards we expect and let them have the freedom to meet those – not hamper them with hierarchy.

“If we don’t design and build to the necessary requirements then even SUDS will fail.” Shingleton warned there “will be no immunity” from the Flood & Water Management Bill. “It will affect everyone – from the planning stage through to the industry’s supply chain and homeowners. We are all going to have to finds ways of controlling surface water run-off.”

Shingleton said the forthcoming Bill “will bring the biggest shake-up of our surface water and foul water drainage practices” for 40 years.

The Bill is behind schedule but Shingleton expects that a “stripped down” version will be included in the Queen’s Speech later this month.

However, funding remained a key issue. “The government would like local authorities to adopt these [SUDS} systems but where they are going to raise the extra cash to maintain these is unclear.”

Shingleton said: “Without this, SUDS won’t get built because there will be no clear mechanism for adoption.”

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