Defra commits to implement Schedule 3: Following key recommendations from Bricks and Water

Policy Connect is pleased by Defra’s announced commitment to implementing Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act.

This commitment by Defra strongly aligns with our key recommendation from the 2020 report Bricks and Water: Building Resilience for England's Homes.

In its report, the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum recommends the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) for all new developments in England should be made mandatory under Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

"New-build can offer the best opportunities for incorporation of high quality SuDS that provide multifunctional benefits. Consideration of SuDS for new developments should be undertaken as early as possible in the planning process and should follow the design methodology set out within the SuDS Manual. This involves setting ‘strategic surface water management objectives’ to comply with local and national policies, before refining the scheme through conceptual, outline, and detailed design stages."

Defra suggests that this new approach to sustainable drainage is set to reduce flood risk and clean up rivers. A consistent approach to sustainable drainage systems is set to be incorporated into new developments in England from 2024, with a consultation forthcoming in 2023.

The commitment to implement Schedule 3 is monumental step in the right direction to tackle flood risk in England in a sustainable way. However, much is left to do in order to guarantee its successes.

Policy Connect is continuing its research to inform policy on flood risk management in the UK through its third Bricks and Water inquiry, which will provide the evidence base as it looks to engage with Defra's consultation in 2023.