What exactly is a SAB?

The SAB is a statutory function delivered by the local authority.  It ensures that drainage proposals for all new developments of more than 1 house or where the construction area is 100m2 are designed and built in accordance with the national standards for sustainable drainage published by Welsh Ministers.

The SAB is established to:

  • Evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications, and
  • Adopt and maintain sustainable surface water drainage systems according to Section 17 of Schedule 3 (FWMA).
  • The SAB also has powers of inspection and enforcement
  • And uses discretionary powers to offer non-statutory pre-application advice

What does it mean for my development?

Whether you are a developer, an agent or an individual seeking planning permission for a development, if your development is:

  • of more than 1 house or
  • of 100m2 or more of construction area you must also seek SAB approval alongside planning approval. 

Construction can only begin once the 2 permissions have been granted.

Existing sites and developments with planning permission granted or deemed to be granted (whether or not subject to any conditions as to a reserved matter) or for which a valid application has been received but not determined by 7 January 2019, will not be required to apply for SAB approval.

However, SAB approval will still be required if the planning permission was granted subject to a condition as to a reserved matter and an application for approval of the reserved matter is not made before 7 January 2020.

Some exemptions will apply:

  • Construction work which does not require planning permission is excepted from the requirement for SAB approval, the exception does not apply where the construction covers an area of 100 m2 or more.
  • Whether or not planning permission is required, construction work involving the construction of a single dwelling house, or other type of construction, which covers an area of land of less than 100m2, is excepted from the requirement for approval.


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