Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sustainable drainage systems

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are drainage solutions that provide an alternative to the direct guiding of rainwater through pipes and sewers to nearby rivers and watercourses.

What are SuDS?

By copying the natural processes, SuDS aim to reduce surface water flooding, improve water quality and enhance the appeal and biodiversity value of the environment. SuDS achieve this by lowering flow rates, increasing water storage capacity and reducing the movement of pollution.

Who does this affect? 

Developers of major development sites must consider including SuDS into their sites. Major developments are those that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Contain 10 or more properties
  • 0.1 hectares or greater for commercial development
  • 0.5 hectares or greater for residential development

What are we doing?

We evaluate SuDS on new developments as part of the planning process and, if requested, may consider adoption and future maintenance. Schemes should demonstrate their agreement with national standards and local policy by meeting a number of requirements. 

We will seek to secure SuDS which create the best environment, biodiversity and other benefits to the local area.

We seek to deliver this through a coordinated approach as both the lead local Flood authority and local planning authority. The aim is to maximise coordination with planning policy whilst still ensuring SuDS are affordable and practical.

What is our involvement?

Durham County Council is a lead local flood authority as explained in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. We work with local partners such as Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency to reduce and manage flood risk.

What Guidance is there?

Our  Icon for pdf Sustainable Drainage System Adoption Guide 2016 (PDF, 959.4kb)  is aimed at developers of major development sites.

Our model SuDS legal documents are examples of those used during the adoption process, however as every scheme is treated individually final documents may differ.