New drainage advice service to be launched
From August 2020 onwards, Gwynedd Council’s Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy (YGC) Department will offer a comprehensive new drainage advice service for new developments covering an area of 100 square meters or more.
Since January 2019, all new development in Wales which fall into this category must comply with the National Standards for Sustainable Drainage and demonstrate that their plans meet Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act. This puts the onus on the developer to consider how water will flow from the site and to try and introduce environmentally-friendly, sustainable solutions to do so.
For a modest fee, YGC will provide detailed technical expert advice and support on drainage issues for these larger developments right from the very start of the process. This will ensure that the plans that are subsequently developed fully meet the Government’s requirements.
Councillor Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for YGC said:
“As a result, YGC can provide a seamless ‘one-stop-shop’ service that offers expert advice on all the relevant drainage legislation right from the start of a project. Without doubt, this new service will help developers save time and unnecessary amendments which could otherwise prove costly further down the line in their project.
“All applicants will of course still be able to contact YGC for simple advice, but from August onwards, a modest fee will be charged to cover the cost of more detailed professional technical advice on how to comply with all the relevant national standards.”
“By investing in this service, developers and project managers will know exactly what they need to do to ensure that their development proceeds smoothly through the various statutory processes as far as drainage matters are concerned.
“Put simply, this service reduces the risk that developments are rejected on drainage grounds and that the customer gets to the construction phase of their project sooner rather than later.”
Whilst the new arrangements for Gwynedd will be in line with similar arrangements already in place or currently being put in place by local authorities across Wales, Gwynedd Council has also decided that the first hour of the new service will be offered for free in an effort to support individuals and smaller businesses.
Councillor Wager added:
“As well as new housing and industrial developments, in rural areas like Gwynedd larger developments also include relatively straightforward projects such as new agricultural buildings, storage facilities and new houses with long drives.
“In an effort to support these less complex developments that are often presented on behalf of small businesses or individuals, we have decided that YGC will provide the first hour of all consultation discussions free of charge.
“As a Council, we have been discussing these changes with architects and agents for some time, and detailed information packs have been produced which will be distributed to developers over the coming months in the run-up to the changes.
“Information will also be shared through Gwynedd Council and YGC’s social media platforms over the coming weeks and months.”
For further information about the service offered by YGC, email firstname.lastname@example.org
All local authorities have a statutory duty to establish a Sustainable Drainage (Suds) Approval Body to oversee drainage issues for larger developments. In Gwynedd, these duties are undertaken by the Council’s YGC Department.