Bricks & Water roundtable 3: How can SuDS improve our built environment?

9.30 - 11.30am

Following on from the WSBF's Bricks & Water report, this policy roundtable will look at blue-green infrastructure features and sustainable drainage system (SuDS) features like ponds, swales and green roofs, and the role they can play in managing and treating water, particularly in the urban environment.

This roundtable will be chaired by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, co-chair of the Bricks & Water report into housing, water management and planning. This session will look to answer:

  • What do we mean by SuDS? Are they difficult to define?
  • How much progress have we made on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in developments, and what's been stopping us?
  • How has the adoption of Schedule 3 of the FWMA in Wales (at the start of this month) been received?
  • Is there a discord in government policy for water and housing? If there is a trade off, is it widely acknowledged?
  • Who pays for the installation of SuDS? How do volume low margin housebuilders pass the cost on to the buyer? Do housebuilders have the proper incentives to build SuDS?
  • Who should be responsible for the maintenance of SuDS - councils, management companies or water companies?
  • What effect will the new Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs) have from 2022?
  • Should the automatic right to connect surface water run-off from developments to sewers be removed, and what effects could this have?
  • Do we properly account for the multiple benefits (biodiversity, amenity, water quality etc) of 'green' SuDs?
  • According to Natural England, 93% of people want open green space near to where they live. Is this evidence that we need more SuDS retrofit into urban spaces?


  • Clare Warburton, Natural England
  • Innes Thomson, Association of Drainage Authorities
  • Andrew Taylor, Countryside Properties

Please contact jim.clark [at] (subject: WSBF%20behavioral%20change%20event) (Jim Clark) to register your interest.