Sustainable Drainage Approving Body (SAB)
Pembrokeshire County Council is the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Approving Body (SAB) for the County of Pembrokeshire alongside their duties as Lead Local Flood Authority.
We deliver a statutory function to ensure that drainage proposals for all new developments of more than 1 property, or where the construction area having drainage implications is in excess of 100m2, are designed and built in accordance with the national standards for sustainable drainage published by Welsh Ministers.
The SAB is established to:
- Provide pre-application advice to discuss drainage proposals
- Evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications
- Adopt and maintain sustainable surface water drainage systems according to Section 17 of Schedule 3 Flood and Water Management Act 2010
- The SAB also has powers of inspection and enforcement
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
New developments of more than one property or where the construction area is of 100m2 will require sustainable drainage systems approval
SAB (Sustainable Drainage Approving Body)
Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA) which came into on 7th January 2019 established SABs in Welsh unitary authorities, these bodies have statutory responsibility to evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications and adopt and maintain SuDS schemes, subject to conditions and exemptions.
Pembrokeshire County Council is the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) for the County of Pembrokeshire alongside their duties as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA).
Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (FWMA) 2010 requires surface water drainage for new developments to comply with mandatory National Standards for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).
Following the Commencement of Schedule 3 FWMA 2010. The Welsh Government Subsequently approved the Statutory Instruments on the 15th October 2018. The published Instruments include:
- The Sustainable Drainage (Approval and Adoption Procedure) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab)
- The Sustainable Drainage (Application for Approval Fees) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab)
- The Sustainable Drainage (Approval and Adoption Order) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab)
- The Sustainable Drainage (Appeals) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab)
- The Sustainable Drainage (Enforcement) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab)
The Welsh Government policy objective is to deliver effective, multi-purpose SuDS in new developments that will be maintained for the life-time of the development they serve.
SAB approval is separate from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) approval. Both SAB and Local Planning Authority approval maybe required for construction works meeting the above criteria.
The Statutory SuDS Standards provide a framework in the form of principles and standards, together with guidance for ensuring good quality SuDS on new developments which will stand the test of time.
On considering an application for approval the SAB must:
- Grant it, if satisfied that the drainage system if constructed as proposed will comply with the Statutory SuDS Standards.
- Refuse it if not satisfied.
Surface water flooding poses an ever greater threat to property and homes and has been identified as one of the three main sources of flood risk, along with seas and rivers.
Flooding due to climate change, urban development and the overloading of existing surface water drainage systems which include combined surface/foul water sewers is an ever increasing risk. This has further resulted in increased pollution of our rivers, poor natural landscapes and declining biodiversity.
Traditional piped systems that collect runoff from hard paved surfaces such as roofs, roads and car parks are unsustainable and have contributed to increased flood risk and pollution by:
- Surcharging during severe rainfall events, with water unable to discharge to the drainage system or emerging through manholes and gullies in areas at lower elevation causing localised pluvial flooding.
- Increasing the discharge of surface water to combined sewers and ultimately to sewage treatment works.
- Increasing the potential for partial or full blockages as a result of sediment, debris or pipe collapse which often go unnoticed until a large rainfall event results in flooding of areas upstream.
- Providing little to no treatment of surface water runoff particularly from vehicle hard-standings, driveways and carriageways, thereby conveying pollutants to the natural environment.
- Increasing the volume and rate at which surface water is discharged to a receiving watercourse and therefore increasing fluvial flood risk.
The risk of surface water flooding can be managed effectively by the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
These systems of alternative surface water disposal are designed to mimic natural drainage in order to control the flow rate, volume of surface water runoff from a site and quality of run-off. This can be achieved through attenuation, infiltration and interception thus helping to reduce the risk of flooding.
SuDS features can include the use of green roofs, water butts, swales, detention basins, attenuation ponds and permeable paving.
Ever wondered where the rain goes?
The SAB is a statutory function delivered by the local authority with the responsibility to:
- Evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications, and
- Adopt and maintain sustainable surface water drainage systems according to Section 17 of Schedule 3 (FWMA).
- The SAB also has powers of inspection and enforcement
- And uses discretionary powers to offer non-statutory pre-application advice
Pembrokeshire County Council as the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) for the County of Pembrokeshire with the exception of single properties and where construction works which have drainage implications of less than 100m2 in area will be required to approve surface water drainage systems prior to any construction works commencing.
Surface water drainage systems which serve new developments must be designed and built in accordance with the standards for sustainable drainage published by Welsh Government. These systems will have to be approved by Pembrokeshire County Council as SuDS Approving Body (SAB) for the County.
SAB approval will be required if the planning permission was granted subject to a condition as to a reserved matter and an application for approval of the reserved matter is made after 7th January 2020.
It is proposed that Trunk roads & motorways managed by Welsh Government, nationally significant infrastructure projects and the construction of railways will be exempt from the requirement to obtain SAB approval.
Approval will not be required for:
- Single dwellings or other types of construction with a construction area of less than 100m2 which have drainage implications.
- If your development does not need planning permission and the construction area is less than 100m2
- If Planning Permission was granted before 7th January 2019
- Planning permission deemed to be granted (with or without any conditions about a reserved matter)
- A valid application which has been received by the planners by 7th January 2019, but hasn’t yet been decided.
SAB approval is separate from the Planning process and will involve the technical approval of all developments for which the criteria applies to. It will be a requirement that Applications for the approval of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) on new developments that meet the criteria will have to be made to the SAB.
Surface water disposal should be considered at the first stages of site design since this will influence the layout of the roads, buildings and open spaces.
Existing watercourses, ditches, and other drainage features both within and adjoining should be preserved and incorporated into the development which will help provide the biodiversity, amenity benefits and cost effective design.
Site layouts should be sympathetic to the existing topography and to the requirements of surface water management systems to effectively manage and treat surface water runoff whilst improving water quality.
Drainage designers will need to demonstrate how their drainage proposals for new developments comply with National Standards published by Welsh Ministers which contain a number of drainage design principles and standards.
We recommend that you refer to the Non-Statutory Ministerial Standards and CIRIA C753: The SUDS Manual (opens in a new tab) and to
The statutory SuDS Standards contain a set of principles, which in order to obtain SAB approval must be applied in the design of any surface water drainage scheme.
S1 - Runoff destination
S2 - Hydraulic control
S3 - Water quality
S4 - Amenity
S5 - Biodiversity
S6 - Construction, operation and maintenance
Although not mandatory the purpose of this discretionary service for which there will be a charge is for the developer to have initial contact with the SUDS approving body to explain the nature of the development, and to bring the National Standards or issues of concern to the developers attention thereby limiting delays to obtaining Planning, Building Regulations and SAB approval.
All requests for pre-application advice must be made on the prescribed pre-application advice enquiry form. Officers will not be in a position at this stage to resolve issues or come to any final conclusions about the scheme.
You are advised to also engage early, and directly, with the LPA and all other relevant organisations that may have an interest in your SuDS scheme proposal, including the SAB statutory consultees listed below:
- Natural Resources Wales;
- Highway Authority;
- Canal & River Trust; and
- Internal Drainage Districts (NRW).
Whilst there are no timescales set for the pre-application stage it is essential that an adequate time-scale is adopted which will meet any deadlines set by the Planning Authority.
The SAB will be able to charge for pre-application comments, discussions, meetings and site meetings: Pre-application fees
Adequate information will have to be submitted to the SAB to enable us to consider the proposals and grant approval. Whilst there are no timescales for validating a SAB Application, upon receipt of all documentation and necessary information, the application will be validated and the fee will be required in full.
Full-applications must be submitted to the SAB for validation and must be accompanied by:
- A plan specifying the construction area and the extent of the drainage system
- Information on how the construction work will comply with the SuDS Standards
- Information requested in the application form checklist
- The appropriate application fee
Guidance for completing the a full application: Guidance
If deemed to be a valid application, your submission will be technically assessed by the SAB. Once a Full SuDS Scheme Application is received, the SAB will determine it solely on the written technical and other information submitted with the full application.
In accordance with the statutory requirements, SAB will notify you of the outcome of its technical assessment of your Full Application and the Full Application may be approved subject to conditions or it may be refused, in which case you will be informed of the reasons why.
This form is based on the requirements provided by Welsh Government for the sole purpose of submitting information to the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) in accordance with the legislation referred to in in Guidance on Making SuDS Applications for SAB Approval, and other relevant items of primary and subordinate legislation.
Under Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, subject to conditions imposed, the Local Authority must adopt SuDS that serve 2 or more properties.
The duty to adopt SuDS does not apply if the system serves a site which is controlled by a single person or two or more persons together, as defined in the regulations.
Typical examples where SuDS will not be adopted are:
- Single dwelling houses
- Publically maintained roads/highways
- Offices or commercial buildings
- Hospitals or other medical facilities
- Industrial developments or commercial estates
- Residential buildings with multiple flats.
- Schools or university campus
In adopting the SuDS system, the SAB will take responsibility for the whole system (which may include features such as pipes and underground stores as well as green features such as swales) to the point where flows leave the system to be either reused, or enter the ground or a surface water body or the sewerage undertaker’s network.
In order for the SAB to adopt it must be satisfied that the drainage system was constructed in accordance with approval which includes any conditions stipulated in the approval.
SuDS adopted by the SAB will be by a bespoke legal agreement which will require commuted sums or maintenance charges which reflect the maintenance/replacement plan that will be required for the lifetime of the development.
Where the drainage system is adopted the SAB has it is ultimately responsible for ensuring the drainage system is maintained in accordance with statutory SuDS Standards.
This document also contains full details of the procedure for appeals, including; how an appeal may be made, the information to be provided, duties of the SAB in providing information, timescales for appeal decisions and the specific duties for the Welsh Ministers.
It should be noted that making an appeal does not suspend a decision and a developer appealing against a condition of an approval must not start construction.
The fees apply to applications made from the 7th January 2019 onward, and are based upon The Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Schedule 3, The Sustainable Drainage (Application for Approval Fees)(Wales) Regulations 2018 (opens in a new tab).
Size of development
- 0 to 0.0099 ha - Exempt from SAB Approval
- 0.01 to 0.1 ha - £420
- 0.1 to 0.5 ha - £420 plus £70 per 0.1 ha or part of
- 0.5 to 1.0 ha - £700 plus £50 per 0.1 ha or part of
- 1.0 to 5.0 ha - £950 plus £20 per 0.1 ha or part of
- Greater than 5.0 ha - £1750 plus £10 per 0.1 ha or part of subject to a maximum fee of £7500
Discounted fees are to be charged by the SAB in circumstances where:
- Two or more applications or alternative proposals in a single application are made. The SAB can charge the application fee for the proposal which would attract the highest fee, plus half the sum of the fee chargeable for each of the remaining applications and/or alternative proposals.
- The applicant is a town or community council. The SAB can charge a fee that is half the amount of the application fee.
It is important to note that there could be a need for other payments in addition to the application fee, such as inspection fees, temporary bonds that may be required to secure the construction work, together with a funded maintenance plan for the drainage system. These costs will be dependent on the nature and scale of the work, with the applicant being made aware of the requirements as part of the approval process. If you are unsure of any aspect of the fees contact the SAB team directly.
Pembrokeshire County Council as SAB will consider utilising enforcement powers:
- Where there is a breach of approval or of the approval process.
- The commencement of construction work without approval.
- Breach of a condition of approval or where construction work does not conform to the approved proposals.
- This list is not exhaustive.
You can obtain further information by contacting your SAB (details shown below)
The following are useful resources for information on Sustainable Drainage.
Please contact your SAB for further details.
Community Services Directorate
Pembrokeshire County Council
By e-mail: SAB@pembrokeshire.gov.uk