SuDS in the City

New developments must put SuDS at the forefront of schemes if they want planning approved


Receiving planning approval is a "yes" moment for most practices. It can take a long time to prepare the application and even longer to hear a response. Nevertheless, the joy of receiving a positive response cannot be overstated.

At R-LA, we often get approached by developers who have been rejected and need help. We understand their frustration as it is such an expensive process in terms of time and cost.  In our experience, rejection can often be avoided if green infrastructure has been thoughtfully included in the scheme.

One such success story is the Raven Road project. The design team worked closely with the Redbridge council from the very beginning which was crucial. The brief was to create new housing that would support the community's infrastructure, encourage local businesses to thrive and create a place in which people are proud to live, work and visit.

Thankfully, sustainable drainage features heavily within the Redbridge London Plan (2015-2030), so the council were only too happy to see nature-based sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) incorporated into the proposal. The planning officer has experienced the impact of surface run-off first-hand but also recognised the benefits of improved water quality and enhanced biodiversity.

The Raven Road scheme includes an intensive green roof, with a deep substrate (230mm) which allows for the growth of a variety of nectar rich perennials and tall grasses providing year round interest but also allowing a greater volume of water to be attenuated.