Flood risk and surface water drainage assessments for 8 sites in Shropshire to obtain Code for Sustainable Homes credits (SUR1 & SUR2)

The Code for Sustainable Homes (The Code) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes

In order to meet future housing requirements, Shropshire Council has identified a number of brownfield sites, initially eight, across the county, that are considered appropriate for the construction of affordable housing. To ensure the environmental sustainability of the houses, Shropshire Council requires the developments to conform to The Code standard. We were engaged to assist with the flood risk and surface water drainage aspects of The Code work, SUR1 and SUR2.

All eight sites were located in flood zone 1 on the Environment Agency’s flood map, i.e. low probability of river or sea flooding. A Flood Risk Assessment was therefore not needed for the planning process, but is a standard requirement of The Code (SUR2 – Flood Risk). We reviewed available data to screen risk at the sites from all sources of flooding: river, coastal, surface water, groundwater, sewers, reservoirs and canals. We used our experience, gained over many years of flood risk work, to identify those aspects where a more in-depth assessment of risk was required and make viable recommendations to mitigate flooding. That way, we could offer a set of cost effective assessments tailor-made to each site.

We audited the proposed surface water drainage scheme for each site against the SUR1 standard (Management of Surface Water Run-off from Developments), and confirmed the mandatory elements were passed. We consulted our client about the additional water quality credits, and recommended options at each site to assist a decision over the value of obtaining those credits compared with alternatives from other aspects of The Code.We provided our client with eight reports, including the required supporting information, demonstrating compliance with The Code SUR1 and SUR2. The reports included a summary table to assist the Code assessor’s review and completed STROMA SUR1 Summary Report Template.