On Tuesday 5th July, 22 Landscape Architects and invited guests from across the county visited the West of Waterlooville development to see best practice in Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs).
The 247 hectare site has a custom designed infrastructure to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and promote biodiversity. Rain water is collected in channels which drain into ponds and soakaways. The water is purified through this process and it returns to the rivers to be taken out to sea. The various stages help slow down the travel of water, allowing the water to naturally infiltrate the ground, helping to prevent flash flooding in extreme weather events. As climate change has increased the risk of flooding across Britain, the SUD system mitigates the risks with lower costs for maintenance. There are many special features in the West of Waterlooville SUDS. Such as the way the elements are incorporated into the landscaping, creating areas of greenery and ponds, encouraging residents to use the open space.
Developers Grainger and Taylor Wimpey have been keen to implement a system which enhances the nature of the site from the earliest stages. They were ahead of the time, by including such a large and high specification system in the masterplan before the government requirement which came into existence in April 2015.
The Berewood SUDs are part of a longitudinal study by the University of Portsmouth, which will provide evidence for national guidance. More study days are planned for the winter when there will be more rain!