Design Criteria

Design criteria provide a framework for designing a system that can effectively drain an area, protecting public health and safety, conserving the environment and creating natural habitat where possible.

The National Standards for SuDS Design set out the required design principles and standards while providing for local standards that can ensure SuDS design responds to local conditions and priorities. The Essex SuDS Design Guide (currently under review) builds on the national standards by outlining local expectations within Essex. Local Planning Authorities may make reference to the local standards in the requirements for SuDS design within their Local Plans. This provides a consistent approach to dealing with surface water drainage across the county.

In the case of site redevelopments, some of the design criteria may not be appropriate and should be discussed at the pre-application stage

In those areas were a Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) is in place, drainage designs should also take into account any recommendations made in that plan. Further details on SWMPs can be found online. If you would like to request a copy of a SWMP for a particular area, email

Positive Examples:

Page updated: 10/03/2020

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