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If you’re submitting planning applications with a sustainable drainage element to any of the 33 London Boroughs, you now need to submit a proforma with details about the site, the discharge arrangement, the drainage strategy, and cross-reference where in the application your supporting information is to be found.
The purpose of the proforma is to increase consistency and ensure key information about SuDS strategies and structures are included in the initial planning application. This reduces the need to request additional information throughout the assessment process.
With limited time to review planning applications, local authorities are keen to streamline the process as much as possible. That’s why initiatives like the London Proforma are to be applauded. A number of LLFAs at the Innovyze Conference last month mentioned that one of their bug-bears was the lack of consistency in the SuDS elements of the planning applications they receive. A great deal of time is spent looking for the relevant SuDS information in the documents submitted – only to find it isn’t there because developers aren’t sure of what to provide.
The London Sustainable Drainage Proforma brings some certainty and consistency to the practice. Having a consistent approach to planning applications and LLFA information requests benefits developers and approvers. LLFAs can immediately see where the relevant information is on the document, rather than trawling through pages. Perhaps more importantly, they can see where information is missing. In turn, developers benefit from understanding exactly what the approving authority needs and the format they want it in. It puts an end to second guessing and the constant toing and froing between developers and LLFAs.
George Warren, Project Manager with the Climate Change Adaptation Team at the Greater London Authority said, “The proforma is the result of the collaboration amongst the 33 London boroughs to answer a shared concern about the level of detail supplied in SuDS strategies and the time it then takes for them to chase up the applicants to supply the relevant information. It establishes a common and consistent format that helps local authorities and developers, and hopefully makes the inclusion of SuDS less daunting from a planning perspective.”
With the majority of planning applications containing MicroDrainage calculations for drainage designs, we fully support the initiative and will soon be issuing a helpful ‘how to guide’ showing where in MicroDrainage you’ll be able to find the information to populate the proforma.
Why not take a look at the London Sustainable Drainage Proforma web page, where you'll find copies of the proforma for each of the 33 London Local Authorities?