The requirement for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to be included in all new developments has been pulled in a last minute amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill.
The amendment was put forward with the intention of protecting homeowners from the risk of flooding but was withdrawn following a pledge from the Govenment to review existing planning policies related to SuDS.
Construction industry group CIRIA, which produces the SUDS handbook, would have liked the amendment to pass to give SuDS regulations "stronger teeth", said CIRIA associate Paul Shaffer. "It would have been great to remove the automatic right to connect, as a way of making sure the consideration of SuDS is a bit more robust than at the moment. So it is a bit disappointing. It's not where we would like it to be.
"We would really like the review to be quick and robust, and to think not only about the flood-risk elements but about other opportunities to improve water quality and provide better places and spaces. The review needs to be looking at the strength of local policy that's in there and the performance and quality of schemes that are coming through."
Speaking in the House of Lords debate, the Planning Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “I emphasise that we are committed to ensuring that developments are safe from flooding and that the delivery of SuDS… forms part of our policy approach."
No indication has been given regards timing or scope of the review.