Raising Awareness for Flood Risk Responsible Development

Calderdale is a wonderfully warm and friendly place, as demonstrated by the incredible response every time our beautiful towns and villages are devastated by flooding. We all have friends or neighbours affected by flooding, even if we’re not directly affected ourselves. 

Flood prevention is better than cure – we can all help!

At Slow The Flow, we are committed to raising awareness of flood risk within the Calder Valley. We want to help everyone to understand that Sustainable Drainage Solutions (SuDS) are not just a tool for those that flood. Instead, they are for everyone higher up in the catchment, to do their bit to prevent the water that lands on their patch from rushing downstream. We are dedicated to empowering the community to be part of the prevention of flooding, as well as the clean up.

Commenting on Planning Applications

In addition to the work that we do on the ground, and our educational and advocacy work within the community, we are pursuing an opportunity offered by one of our wonderful volunteers, to help trustees identify and respond to relevant Calderdale Council planning applications. Our comments are helping to:

  • Raise awareness of flood risk amongst developers and offer advice on potential opportunities to include SuDS
  • Keep the importance of nature-based solutions to flooding at the forefront of the Planning team’s mind
  • Raise awareness amongst other commentators
Ways to Slow The Flow

Sustainable Drainage System interventions can provide a water management train that, in theory, could help to alleviate existing run-off issues and prevent further problems.

As a result of our proactive planning applications comments project, Slow The Flow has been pleased to be invited to comment on some of the recent major applications and planning documents coming forwards, including the proposed Calderdale Wind Farm (read our comment on the scoping report here), and the Biodiversity Net Gain SPD – our comments are being noticed and valued! 

We firmly believe that every development, regardless of its size, or whether it is in a flood risk area (either surface water or from river flooding), should be designed to reduce its impact, not just for the development site; but also, on how the development affects flood risk downstream.  

SuDS NFM principles Section Diagram

Development doesn’t have to have a negative effect on flooding issues, though historically it has. Done well, the built environment can help to alleviate downstream flooding issues. 

Supporting all developers to build responsibly

We are here to help developers, from large scale housebuilders, to homeowners planning a garden office, become aware of the critical issues and offer solutions to mitigate flood risks. 

Every development, without exception, should be planned in a way that minimises run-off issues, through incorporating interventions such as greywater re-use, green roofs, and many other Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS). 

Through good design, SuDS can help to alleviate downstream flooding and water pollution issues, as well as providing various other advantages on site. Rainwater and greywater harvesting for use within buildings, and insulating green roofs, can lower utility bills. ‘Green’ landscaped SuDS can provide benefits such as biodiversity, amenity value, and financial savings to the developer due to reduction in below-ground infrastructure.

Together, we can make a difference. If you know of any applications that you have water-based concerns over and we haven’t submitted a comment on the planning portal, we welcome your input. We want to keep flood risk, and nature-based solutions to it, at the forefront of the community and planning team’s minds.

Showcasing what the Calderdale Community is doing

We would love to highlight best practice and build on our library of case studies to show what could be done. Calderdale can be a model for responsible development, helping alleviate existing run-off problems and creating a sustainable environment for all. 

If you do implement any of the NFM and SuDS methods we advocate, we’d love to hear all about it and for you to submit as a case study on our website (using our easy web form!)

Don’t forget to explore our website for resources and guidance,and share your success stories with us. We can build a future where responsible development is the norm, not the exception; thus helping to safeguard our communities from the threat of flooding.

Take a look at our ‘You Can Slow The Flow’ pages, for inspiration on your project! 

You Can Slow The Flow At Home - SuDS
You Can Slow The Flow At Work - SuDS
You Can Slow The Flow At School - SuDS
You Can Slow The Flow : Public Spaces - SuDS