The SuDS Design & Evaluation Guide

As a Lead Local Flood Authority, we have seen a marked improvement in the quality of SuDS designs submitted to us since we have published the guide.’

Tom Sly - London Borough of Merton

An easy to follow SuDS guide for designers and local authority evaluators based on the design process and aimed at promoting best-practice.


This development guide currently has the support of 16 Local Authorities across England: 

Lewisham Council

Lincolnshire County Council

London Borough of Bexley

London Borough of Enfield

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Hillingdon

London Borough of Merton

Luton Borough Council

Oxford City Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Peterborough City Council

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Worcestershire County Council

Wyre Forest District Council

Bromsgrove District Council

Redditch Borough Council





View the SuDS Design & Evaluation Guide below:

Why is this guide needed?

The negative impacts of conventional drainage are now well understood.
Pipe drainage collects and conveys water away from where it rains, as quickly as possible, contributing to increased risk of flooding and contamination of water as well as the loss of our relationship with water and the benefits it can bring us all.
Sustainable Drainage (SuDS), is a way of managing rainfall that mimics the drainage processes found in nature and addresses the issues with conventional drainage.

Who this guide is intended for

In 2010 the Flood and Water Management Act proposed that SuDS should be used on most development and this was confirmed in a ministerial statement on 23 March 2015 introducing the ‘non statutory technical standards’ for SuDS.
The responsibility for ensuring that SuDS are designed and implemented to a satisfactory standard lies with the Local Planning Authority (LPA).
SuDS Designers need to meet these standards when submitting proposals to the LPA.

What the guide provides

This guide links the design of SuDS with the evaluation requirements of planning in a sequence that mirrors the SuDS design process.
This guide promotes the idea of integrating SuDS into the fabric of development using the available landscape spaces as well as the construction profile of buildings. This approach provides more interesting surroundings, cost benefits, and simplified future maintenance.
This guide begins by giving a background context for SuDS design. Next, the three accepted design stages are described: Concept Design, Outline Design and Detail Design. Subsequent chapters offer supporting information. It is intended that this guide will facilitate consultation, in order to achieve the best possible SuDS designs.

About The Authors


Anthony McCloy  

Director McCloy Consulting

Anthony McCloy is a Chartered Engineer working exclusively in the water sector since 1998. Since 2003 he has focused on SuDS design, hydraulic modelling for SuDS and flood risk. He has co-authored SuDS Guidance documents for Planning Authorities and is a key tutor for the (CIRIA) National SuDS training workshops since 2006.


Bob Bray

Director Robert Bray Associates

Robert Bray has been a pioneer of UK SuDS since 1996. He has been at the forefront of demonstrating how SuDS can be fully integrated with the surrounding landscape. Bob has been a key tutor for the (CIRIA) National SuDS training workshops since 2003.


Kevin Barton

Director Robert Bray Associates

Kevin Barton has been working as a Landscape Architect for over 20 years and designing SuDS landscapes exclusively since 2011. In addition to project work, Kevin has also contributed to SuDS Guidance documents for Planning Authorities and presented on SuDS topics at Conferences, CIRIA ‘Susdrain’ events and to Planning Authorities.

Acknowledgements: Kevin Tidy - LLFA (retired), Ruth Newton - Planner

Become a partner

If your council would like to purchase the guide to support SuDS design and evaluation in your area, please contact us using the form below or directly to either McCloy Consulting (+44 (0)28 9084 8694 or Robert Bray Associates (+44 (0)1453 763116 for more details on becoming a partner.