HC Deb 09 January 2001 vol 360 c485W
Mr. Hilary Benn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking including relevant research to promote sustainable urban drainage; and if he will make a statement. [143850]

Ms Beverley Hughes

I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson), on 13 November 2000,Official Report, column 476W, in which I outlined the range of promotional activities for sustainable drainage systems in which my Department is involved.

I would add to this that in revising the draft PPG 25 on "Development and flood risk", we are considering what more can be said to assist in the promotion of sustainable drainage systems.

My Department co-funded with the Environment Agency and others, the Construction Research and Information Association (CIRIA) research project, which examined sustainable urban drainage systems in practice. Design manuals for Scotland and Northern Ireland and for England and Wales were published during 1999 and a best practice manual is to be published shortly. Officials are also assisting in steering a CIRIA project that has just started on sustainable water management.

We are also examining what further action might be needed, including research, to further promote the use of sustainable drainage systems.