Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Benefits of SuDS

SuDS provide a range of benefits over conventional drainage systems:

  • Reduced flood risk – SuDS slow down the flow of rainwater from a site by filtering and storing it. This reduces pressure on our overstretched drainage system and therefore reduces the risk of flooding, especially after heavy rainfall. This is particularly important as our drainage system is under increasing pressure due to development and the increased risk of heavy rainfall due to climate change
  • Improved water quality – SuDS features, such as green roofs and permeable paving, filter and clean rainwater on site. This ensures water entering drains and then Haringey’s rivers are free of oil and pollutants which can harm wildlife
  • Benefits for people and wildlife – SuDS creates opportunities for rainwater recycling and for creating attractive water features which support wildlife. SuDS also reduce the need for expensive conventional drainage systems and so can provide cost savings

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Delivering SuDS

SuDS aim to mimic the way water moves naturally in and around a site and provide a more sustainable approach to managing water. This differs from conventional drainage systems where rainwater runs quickly off hard surfaces, straight into drains and then into rivers, often carrying pollution with it.

SuDS involve a range of techniques such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving and landscape features such as ponds and wetlands.

There is a SuDS solution for every situation.

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Haringey Drainage Sustainable Evaluation Guide

Download the Haringey SUDS Design Evaluation Guide (PDF, 25MB) - please note this is a large document and will take longer to download on slower connections.

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Hornsey Area Flood Prevention Schemes 

We are currently planning to implement two flood prevention schemes in 2022 to reduce the likelihood of flooding in the Hornsey area. In addition, we are commencing the design of a scheme in Priory Park to enable us to make a future bid for funding.

Queen’s Wood Natural Flood Management Project 

Plan of Queen’s Wood Project (PDF 1.17MB)

This scheme is planned to be on-site in early 2022 and includes Natural Flood Measures (NFM) in Queen’s Wood to prevent damage to the wood and flooding of properties.

The scheme includes:

  • The daylighting (open channelling) of the existing Thames Water surface water sewer and diversion of these water flows into an open watercourse, or a modified existing watercourse, across the site
  • The construction of instream NFM structures such as channel stuffing, and leaky dams constructed from imported timber and some in situ large woody debris, all to create natural attenuation and control the flow within the watercourses
  • The formation of temporary wetted areas by installing earth berms to provide a floodplain for the watercourse to spill into during times of heavy flows
  • The installation of localised retention basins to create attenuation and settlement areas

These proposals will help to reduce the potential flood risk level to 10 residential and 2 non-residential properties immediately adjacent to the wood, and a total of up to 35 properties in this Wood Vale area. Further downstream, the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to 2 tennis clubs, playing fields, cricket pitch, lawn tennis club, medical surgeries, approximately 36 properties on the A1201 Park Road, Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre, a private GP Surgery and other businesses.

Queen’s Wood Natural Flood Management decision-making report under Delegated Authority

During the consultation on the Queen’s Wood Natural Flood Management proposals, we received several objections to this scheme. Each objection and representation received during the consultation has been fully considered and addressed in the design and consultation process, with various amendments made to the original plan. These objections and responses are summarised in the body of the Delegated Authority (DA) decision-making report (available below).

The details of the scheme are flood prevention proposals through natural flood measures within the wood. These proposals were developed considering stakeholders’ feedback throughout the design and development process.

Having considered these objections and representations the Council has approved the scheme to progress to further stages of detailed development and subsequent implementation of the Queen’s Wood Natural Flood Management scheme, taking due consideration of the issues raised through the consultation and officers’ responses to those issues.

Muswell Hill Flood Mitigation Scheme

This will provide Sustainable Drainage System improvements, including rain gardens and permeable paving within the area of the junction of Muswell Hill, Priory Road, Park Road, Etheldene Avenue and Farrer Mews to address the existing surface drainage issues in the area.

Priory Park Flood Alleviation Scheme

This scheme is in the early stages of design and the proposals, if implemented, should reduce the risk of flooding to a number of properties in the area. The outline scheme currently has options of an attenuation basin (pond) and the opening up of a surface water sewer in the Park. Subject to funding this scheme may be implemented in 2023. These options need to be further explored to ensure they are viable. We will also carry out a hydraulic assessment to find out the amount of water to be captured and the slow release of the water in the sewer or culvert.

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Chesnut Road Improvement and Sustainable Drainage System Project

Crescent Road 1Crescent Road 2

Crescent Road 3Crescent Road 4

The Chesnut Road link was used by pedestrians, local residents, Tottenham Hotspur fans and cyclists. There were issues with anti-social behaviour and the drainage network had insufficient capacity to manage a storm event with localised flooding and large areas of ponding. The redesign of the link introduced a pocket park to activate the space and Sustainable Drainage System (SuD) to increase the drainage capacity.

The key SuDS features used are as follows:

  • Rain gardens and a triangular basin to store stormwater
  • A length of swale (open channel) to carry water to the new basin
  • Small bridge across the swale
  • Meadow style planting

Other features include:

  • New paving, kerbing and surfacing throughout with creation of 4.2m wide shared surface for pedestrians and cyclists
  • New play equipment, boulders, outdoor gym and scooter track for children
  • Installation of a new CCTV camera
  • New LED street lighting along the link and feature lighting in three locations across the area

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Ferry Lane Public Realm and Sustainable Drainage System Project

Ferry Lane 1Ferry Lane 2

Ferry Lane 3Ferry Lane 4

Ferry Lane sits within a high-risk flood zone where, prior to the scheme, no SuDS features were provided to alleviate and attenuate rainfall discharge back into the drainage system. Views into the Paddock and across the reservoirs of the Lee valley were restricted due to enclosures formed by palisade fences and vegetation that blocked sightlines, all adding to the feeling of discomfort when walking along the route. The Walthamstow Wetlands Centre opened in the summer of 2017 and is attracting a high volume of visitors from outside the area. Ferry Lane is the principal gateway access from Tottenham Hale to the Walthamstow Wetland Centre and there was a lack of a coordinated wayfinding strategy to aid visitors on the route to the Wetland Centre.

The redesign of the link introduced SuDS, bespoke architectural lighting columns, creation of east and westbound fully segregated cycle lanes, footway and carriageway resurfacing and bespoke metalwork incorporating themes from the Wetland Centre. The works improved sightlines into the Paddock, opening up the frontage and installing new fencing/signage which aligned with the metal artwork and lighting columns.

The key SuDS features are as follows:

  • Two lengths of swale (open channel) along the Paddock Frontage
  • New soakaway within the swale
  • New planters on either side of Bream Close junction
  • Meadow style planting

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White Hart Lane and Love Lane Sustainable Drainage System Projects

White Hart Lane 1White Hart Lane 2

White Hart Lane 3White Hart Lane 4

White Hart Lane is one of the few east-west roads that can be used by high sided vehicles because of the low railway bridges on surrounding roads. However, an over-emphasis on the use of the road by cars has undermined the environmental quality of the neighbourhood for people walking, using public transport or cycling. In addition, the junction with the High Road is an accident spot, the pavements throughout are narrow and are poorly designed for people with mobility issues. The aim of this project is to make White Hart Lane more attractive and welcoming, to make it a better place to live, to support the existing shops and to encourage more businesses to come to the area.

The street drainage plan is to manage the rainwater as close as possible to where it falls and to provide as much permeable surface so rain can soak through to the soil layers below. The pavement paving slabs are laid with small gaps between, filled with pollution-cleaning grit through which the water can drain and be stored and filtered in the special gravel ‘sponge’ layers and is released very slowly to the pipes connected to the Moselle. Some rainwater will soak into the clay soil below the pavement construction.

Will the SuDS on White Hart Lane entirely prevent flooding and pollution and why doesn’t everywhere have SuDS?

New planning laws require that all new developments have SuDS. What is more difficult is fitting SuDS into roads that already exist. Rain gardens and permeable drainage need space underground for layers of grit to act as the ‘sponge’. This underground space is often full of pipes carrying water, gas, electricity and internet cables. These pipes have to be protected from the rainwater and from the roots of trees so a rain garden cannot be directly above where pipes are running under the pavement. White Hart Lane has many, many pipes running along the street and the SuDS has to work around these. We used a radar survey to locate all the pipes to enable as much permeable surface as possible.

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Crescent Garden Sustainable Drainage System project

Haringey is investing in water management improvements to Crescent Gardens. These will promote the appeal and usability of this park while also helping to clean and collect rainwater running off nearby roads. The work will also offset the risk of flooding and pollution in nearby rivers. Visually attractive appearance and interactive features are included in the design of this rainwater management project.

Crescent Garden 1Crescent Garden 3

Crecent Gardens Image 2Crescent Gardens Image 4

The key SuDS features consist of:

  • A series of ‘rain gardens’ to collect run-off from the adjacent roads.
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) in the form of circular basin features
  • Series of swales (open drainage channels) to carry water between the basin and rain gardens
  • New tree planting and;
  • Meadow style planting.

We are investing in the environmental improvements for Crescent Gardens and enhancing its attraction as a public park. The feasibility study confirmed that practicable SuDS features and modifications to the surface water drainage network within the site and on nearby roads would reduce flood risk both locally and ‘downstream’ of the area.

To request further information or to comment on the scheme, please email us at: and please put 'SuDS' in the email header.

Susdrain - Highly Commended

On 16 July 2020 we were awarded a certificate (PDF, 57KB) for our Crescent Gardens project - 'Highly Commended' in the category of Retrofit Large scale SuDS.

The judges really liked the scheme and commented:

  • "100-year mitigation is remarkable,"
  • "This is similar to a lot of other schemes with swales and rain gardens."
  • "Use of different materials is very good."
  • "Not high cost, good scheme."
  • "Problem created that had to be solved with steel circle in public space."
  • "Great example of highway water running off to green space."
  • "Good example in limited space."

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Victoria Crescent Sustainable Drainage System project

We are investing in water management improvements to Victoria Crescent. These will promote the appeal and usability of the courtyard while also helping to clean and collect rainwater running off nearby flats. This will also offset the risk of flooding and pollution in nearby rivers. Visually attractive appearance and interactive aspects are included in the design of the rainwater management features.

Victoria Crescent Image 1Victoria Crescent Image 2

Victoria Crescent Image 3Victoria Crescent Image 4

The key SuDS features are as follows:

  • A series of rain gardens and circular basins (a slightly sunken planted area)
  • Series of swales (open channels) to carry water between the basin and rain garden.
  • Series of mounds (artificial elevation of earth) to reduce the surface water flow
  • Small bridge, benches, Boulders for play features.
  • Meadow style planting

We commissioned a detailed feasibility study to develop the environmental improvements for Victoria Crescent while at the same time enhancing its attraction as a courtyard. The feasibility study confirmed that practicable SuDS features combined with modifications to the surface water drainage network within the site would reduce flood risk both locally and ‘downstream’ of the area.

The council has commissioned Highways Term Contractors to carry out the works which are part of our wider floodwater management programme. The works have been completed recently. During the works, it has been necessary to close certain sections of the courtyard. Residents in the area were kept informed by means of information letters circulated in October and February respectively. Several information posters were put up in the area to provide detailed information about the scope and nature of SuDS.

To request further information or to comment on the scheme, please email us at: and please put ‘SuDS’ in the email header.

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    Contact us

    To discuss issues relating to SuDS please feel free to contact us.


    Engineering Projects
    Environment and Neighbourhoods
    Level 1- River Park House
    225 High Road
    Wood Green
    N22 8HQ

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    Page last updated:

    February 2, 2023

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