The National SuDS Conference 2014

The 2014 National SuDS Conference was held in Northampton on 24th and 25th June. Attracting 140 delegates, this event provided an essential forum for debate, highlighting current, topical issues surrounding sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), in the context of uncertainty and government delays in implementing The Flood and Water Management Act.

2014 Speakers & Presentations


Marianne Beckmann

Marianne Beckmann - VA SYD, Malmö.

Marianne has fifteen years of experience from city planning and stormwater management at VA SYD in Malmö, Sweden.


SuDS in SwedenClick here to download PDF

Malmö has 25 years of experience of sustainable stormwater management. The time has come to look at the past, but also to the future. How does stormwater management affect society? What have we learned and how do we move on from here? What challenges lie ahead? The issues of climate change, densification of the city and environmental requirements will lead to even higher demands on the design, operation and function of stormwater facilities. How do we meet these challenges?

The Augustenborg neighbourhood might be the most well-known stormwater facility in Malmö, with visitors from near and far coming to see this retrofitted area from the 1950’s. A number of details from this project will be presented, as well as other examples from SUDS in Malmö.

Chris Hodson

Chris Hodson - Interpave and SuDSsource

Chris Hodson is a chartered architect and Managing Director of Hodsons Ltd., a dedicated communications and marketing consultancy for the building industry, acting for trade associations and leading manufacturers for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Chris has been involved with precast concrete, hard-landscape products - notably permeable paving, leading to a fascination with SuDS and its relationship with urban design. He is also a co-founder of SuDSsource.


SuDS and ArchitectureClick here to download PDF

A review of the Athletes' Village, Glasgow.

Bridget Woods Ballard

Bridget Woods Ballard - HR Wallingford

Chris Hodson is a chartered architect and Managing Director of Hodsons Ltd., a dedicated communications and marketing consultancy for the building industry, acting for trade associations and leading manufacturers for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Chris has been involved with precast concrete, hard-landscape products - notably permeable paving, leading to a fascination with SuDS and its relationship with urban design. He is also a co-founder of SuDSsource.


Updating The SuDS ManualClick here to download PDF

Dan Shoesmith

Daniel Shoesmith - Pell Frischmann

Dan Shoesmith has been part of the Upton Project Team since 2003 and was a member of the design team that implemented the multiple phases of main spine road and drainage infrastructure at Upton. As well as his involvement in the design of the SuDS network, part of his role as a member of the Upton Working Group was to ensure compliance with the overall sitewide SuDS strategy by developers of the individual land parcels.

Dan has worked extensively for public and private sector clients and has transferred knowledge and lessons learned from Upton to other residential and mixed use projects.


Introducing UptonClick here to download PDF



Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson - University of Northampton


Biodiversity at UptonClick here to download PDF



Paul Shaffer

Paul Shaffer - CIRIA

Paul is an Associate at CIRIA where he coordinates initiatives that promote the sustainable use and management of water with a focus on improving its integration in the built environment. His work in this area includes the development of guidance, websites, conferences and training designed to help overcome the challenges of implementing good practice.

He’s delivered initiatives on sustainable drainage, flood risk management, water sensitive urban design and a number of projects highlighting the role of green infrastructure.


National Standards & GuidanceClick here to download PDF

Laura Kitson

Laura Kitson - Central Bedfordshire Council

Laura Kitson is the Green Infrastructure Coordinator for Central Bedfordshire Council. Her role involves making environmental policy, and negotiating with developers to promote green infrastructure. SuDS offer a fantastic opportunity to manage surface water in ways that deliver myriad environmental and amenity benefits. From her background in environmental policy and advocacy, Laura has led the development of Sustainable Drainage Guidance to ensure that SuDS are a key part of a sustainable, locally relevant design.


SuDS and PlanningClick here to download PDF

Central Bedfordshire Council has recently adopted SuDS guidance, being the first local authority to prepare and adopt guidance specifically in preparation for our forthcoming role as a SuDS Approval Body. This new role complements the authorities existing role as a Local Planning Authority. In order to exploit this dual role, we have adopted SuDS guidance as a Supplementary Planning Document. This guidance sets out local requirements for SuDS, explains what information is required when in the planning process, troubleshoots problems that may be posed on specific sites, and looks at the local environmental characteristics of Central Bedfordshire, and how they should influence SuDS design. The guidance ensures that SuDS design not only deals with surface water, but improves biodiversity, creates attractive spaces for leisure and recreation, and improves resource sustainability by protecting water quality, sequestering carbon and mitigating the urban heat island effect.

Roger Nowell

Roger Nowell - Sheffield City Council

Roger trained originally in landscape architecture and ecology and has spent his career working in this field as both a designer and project manager. His focus has been on regeneration, working on river and canal corridors as well as urban green space with a strong focus towards land management. Over the last 8 years he has become increasingly involved in water management since his close involvement with the Manor/Bellway SUDS working for Sheffield Council. Since then he has worked on SUDS feasibility for housing sites across Sheffield and now is playing a role with the establishment of the SAB. Over the last three years he has been managing the River Don flood protection work for Sheffield City Centre as a demonstration project for the MARE interreg project. He regularly presents on SUDS GI cross overs and has contributed to publications on this subject.


The SAB in PracticeClick here to download PDF


Steve Wilson - EPG

Steve is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 30 years experience of drainage and geotechnical engineering. He is the Technical Director of the Environmental Protection Group, a company that specialises in the design of SuDS. Steve has a wealth of experience designing a wide range of SuDS projects and has a particular interest in combining hard and soft SuDS. He believes that SuDS can be applied to any site.

He is lead author of CIRIA Report C609, SuDS, Hydraulic, structural and water quality issues and was a member of the project steering group for The SuDS manual. Steve has contributed to much of the design guidance on concrete permeable pavements. He regularly present training courses for CIRIA and helped present DEFRA workshops to local authorities on the new National SuDS Standards.


Evaluating SuDS CostsClick here to download PDF


Anthony McCloy

Anthony McCloy - McCloy Consulting

Anthony is a chartered Civil Engineering with considerable expertise in hydrology and drainage , particularly in relation to hydraulic modelling and design of SuDS. His career experience to date also includes development of guidance for Local Authorities and delivery of (CIRIA) SUDS training workshops since 2006. He currently resides on the Project Advisory Group for the SuDS Manual Update and is an active contributor of Susdrain factsheets.


Assessing Volume and FlowsClick here to download PDF

Without becoming an expert in hydraulic software and knowing the workings of a hydraulic simulation process, how can one evaluate volume submissions as part of a SAB? This paper will explain the process of expressing volumes in a simple and straight forward manner, which not only facilitates a more flexible approach to design, but should also simplify the evaluation process.

In any estimation process there are no correct answers, just degrees of accuracy. Different approaches to storage design (outlined by the draft national standards 2011) will give rise to different storage volumes. The various approaches to storage design will be considered; how these relate to real schemes and what the implications are in terms of outputs and implementation.

To round off the paper, the 50% betterment approach to brownfield and retro-fit sites will be reflected upon, with an alternative approach presented which may deliver a much wider range of benefits whilst requiring no additional volume of storage.

Theo Thomas

Theo Thomas - Thames 21

Theo is a senior programmes manager at Thames21, London’s leading charity for the capital’s rivers and waterbodies. He established the ‘Love the Lea’ campaign in 2011 to focus attention on the poor water quality of rivers in East London. After a trip to Portland, Oregon, it was clear the UK needed to apply SuDS here as one tool for healing rivers.

Before working at Thames21 Theo was a broadcast journalist for the BBC in the East Midlands.


Healing Urban Rivers with SuDSClick here to download PDF

Retro-fitting SuDS in an urban environment is one of the greatest challenges facing green drainage. Yet it is in these settings where it is most needed. In London all but one of its rivers fails the European Water Framework Directive. Pollution from stormwater run-off is a significant contributor to poor water quality.

Thames21’s focus in London has been to create a mechanism that delivers SuDS; one that harnesses the desire of people for healthy rivers with the aspiration of Local Authorities to innovate new approaches, and do it in a cost effective way.

Find out how environmental charity Thames21 has developed new and effective partnerships that have seen the creation of SuDS in public places.


John Brewington

John Brewington - Environment Agency

John has worked at the Environment Agency for 15 years and has spent much of that time protecting and improving river water quality.

John’s knowledge and passion for improving urban watercourses was enhanced during a Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Scholarship study tour to America in 2003.

He was then delighted to be asked to lead the 2 year MURCI Waters programme which has allowed him to help deliver a range of measures which address urban diffuse pollution across the Midlands.

Paul Crawford

Paul Crawford - Groundwork

Paul has worked in the landscape and environment sector for 15 years and has focused on environmental regeneration for the past six years.

Paul has developed and delivered catchment projects with multiple benefits including improvement to water quality, biodiversity and flood risk whilst making the water environment more accessible to communities. Most recently Paul has led on sustainable drainage projects and a river restoration scheme within the urban environment.

Paul is lead for Groundwork’s role as joint Catchment Host for the Lower Trent and Erewash catchment as part of the Defra Catchment Based Approach initiative.

Retrofit SuDS in the Real WorldClick here to download PDF

This presentation will introduce two retrofit SuDS projects which form part of a wider programme of work focussed on reducing the impact of urban diffuse pollution on water bodies in the Midlands.

The Day Brook green streets project delivered 21 retrofit rain gardens in a residential street in Nottingham. The scheme was developed through a partnership between Groundwork Greater Nottingham, Nottingham City Council and the Environment Agency. The presentation will introduce the scheme and present evaluation of rain garden performance and resident acceptance.

The Lincoln Street Wetland is the next SuDS project to be developed by the Nottingham partnership. The scheme will see a surface water sewer intercepted and diverted into a reedbed within a pocket park. The scheme has been designed to deliver water quality improvements, flow attenuation and habitat enhancement. The presentation will describe the challenges and opportunities of working collaboratively when designing a retrofit project which delivers multiple benefits.

Kevin Barton

Kevin Barton - Robert Bray Associates

Kevin is a Landscape Architect with over 18 years experience in private practice now specialising solely in SuDS design at Robert Bray Associates. Kevin is passionate about the environment and creating beautiful, meaningful and useful places for people and wildlife.

Having developed sustainable approaches to landscape design, he now employs SuDS to create dynamic landscapes that deliver another layer of green-space multi-functionality and sustainability through the creative management of rainfall whilst supporting the needs of host communities.


RaingardensClick here to download PDF

Andy Graham

Andy Graham - Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Andy is responsible for managing SuDS projects in London and Northumberland and wider SuDS work. He also manages WWT’s project in Cambodia where they are working with local people to conserve wetlands, the endangered Sarus crane and support local livelihoods. He's worked for the Paraguayan NGO, Guyra Paraguay, on the Pantanal wetland drafting management plans and prior to that he spent many years working for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust on water and wetland initiatives.


SuDS for SchoolsClick here to download PDF

WWT’s SuDS for Schools project in London is nearing completion and has generated a lot of interest within the private sector and the conservation sector.  The presentation will outline project aims and objectives and detail the process which has lead to the creation of ten SuDS over a two year period.  It will highlight the key challenges we faced, the way we engaged with schools and their communities and the work we still need to do with the schools to leave a legacy of knowledge and capacity to engage in sustainable water management behind.  It will also present early data on SuDS performance plus outline costs of the project  and introduce our new SuDS for Schools project in Northumberland.

Bob Bray

Bob Bray - Robert Bray Associates and SuDSsource

Robert Bray has been designing SuDS since 1996 including the first two EA ‘demonstration sites’ in the UK to include ‘source control’ and a full ‘management train’. Robert Bray Associates has developed an environmental design based approach to SuDS providing maximum value for the community who live and work with SuDS around them. The potential for value, creative management and cost effectiveness have driven this approach.

Bob has contributed to National and Local Guidance, particularly concerning practical design issues and management of SuDS that reflect his landscape design background and involvement with design, construction and maintenance of projects. He is also a founder member of the CIRIA SuDS training team The Practice portfolio includes SuDS masterplanning, housing, commercial, schools and public open space design.

A particular interest in the Amenity and Biodiversity opportunities of SuDS is reflected at this Conference with presentations to demonstrate that SuDS can provide a wide variety of benefits as part of good design and the creative use of the SuDS philosophy and new design criteria.

Bob is a co-founder of SuDSsource.


Management of the Upton SuDSClick here to download PDF