Surface water drainage for developments

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are used to reduce the risk of flooding caused by surface water drainage. SuDS try to copy the way that water drains in nature, instead of relying solely on traditional piped drainage.

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On 15 April 2015 Leicestershire County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) became a statutory consultee to the planning process. We are now responsible for reviewing the surface water drainage systems for all major development applications. Using sustainable drainage systems is important in ensuring that developments do not increase the risk of flooding. 

As a statutory consultee, we are required to assess applications in line with the current planning legislation. 

Planning policies and guidance

Pre-application advice

As the LLFA we offer a pre-application advice service to developers to:

  • help understand the criteria we work to
  • give information on local flood risk, so that it can be accounted for during development

To request pre-application advice email

You’ll need to provide a minimum of:

  • A site location plan (redline boundary plan)
  • An outline of the proposals e.g. development of 25 residential properties

We can also give pre-application advice where a flood risk assessment has been drafted prior to submission for planning.

Please allow 21 days for the pre-planning advice process.

In addition to our pre-planning advice service, the following guidance details the criteria we work to when reviewing formal planning applications as part of our statutory role to the planning process. This guidance should be considered in full.

Statutory planning consultation guidance

As the LLFA, we have a statutory duty to advise the Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) on all major planning applications within the county. In addition, when consulted by a LPA, we may also advise on minor applications where there is an identified flood risk. Applications will be reviewed in line with our statutory consultee role. 

There are key details required to accompany an application in order for us to be able to provide the LPA with robust advice. In order to assist you and minimise the time it takes to receive a positive response from us, please use the following checklist and guidance:



We have a statutory duty to provide a response to the LPA within 21 days of consultation. Where additional detail is required to support an application, a further 21 day consultation period will be required. Consultations may only be raised by the relevant LPA. You should liaise directly with the LPA when submitting any drainage and flood risk details.

In some instances, certain elements of the checklist may not be relevant to your application. If this is the case, please submit information supporting any lack of detail for each checklist item. Where certain elements of the checklist are not provided to us for review, we reserve the right to defer further review of the submitted details until full details satisfying the checklist have been submitted.