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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk


image of a roadside drain

We will adopt only drains laid for the sole purpose of discharging surface water from the highway. The developer will need to prove a right to discharge surface water from the highway to an existing sewer, a proposed sewer or a water course.

If the highway water discharges into sewers containing roof or yard water (or both) Severn Trent Water Ltd must approve the proposals and they must be included in a sewer Agreement (Section 104 Agreement of the Water Industry Act 1991). In these cases the Council will not adopt a new road until the water company has adopted the sewer.

Where surface water pipes are laid to drain proposed or existing public highways alone, they will remain highway drains and be part of the highway to be adopted. Road gullies and gully connections will be adopted by the Highway Authority as part of the road. No part of any highway drain, manhole, gully, etc., must be positioned closer than 3m from any structure without the prior approval of the Highway Authority.

Highway drains should be situated within the limits of the highway wherever possible. Where any part of a highway drain or gully connection is situated outside of these limits a formal Deed of Easement will be required to allow the Highway Authority to gain access to the land for maintenance and repairs.

Following from the Flood and Water Management Act (F&WMA) in April 2010, a ministerial statement made in December 2014 requires the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to ‘ensure that sustainable drainage systems for the management of run-off are put in place, unless demonstrated to be inappropriate’ for major developments (10 dwellings or more; or equivalent non-residential or mixed development).

From 6th April 2015 the Drainage and Resilience Team in Resilience and Local Engineering (Highways), in the role of Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) are a statutory consultee on all major developments (in relation to surface water drainage.

A Sustainable Drainage: Guide to Design, Adoption and Maintenance has been drafted to provide detailed guidance to support the implementation of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in future development in Birmingham, with particular emphasis on the local requirements for SuDS on all major development. The LLFA offer pre-application advice (on a cost-recovery basis) and will be providing a consistent source of technical advice for the LPA through reviewing and assessing surface water drainage, including SuDS.