Experts in permeable paving Formpave, part of Forterra, welcomed leading advocates of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), including Baroness Parminter, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader in the House of Lords and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to their facility in Gloucestershire to discuss the future of SuDS.
Baroness Parminter, who tabled an amendment on SuDS legislation in the House of Lords earlier this year, was among the guests given a tour of the Coleford plant, plus a visit to a successful installation of the company’s Aquaflow permeable paving system at a nearby development.
SuDS are a method of managing drainage and reducing the risk of flooding in and around developments, which work by slowing and holding back the water run-off from a site.
Baroness Parminter said: “This was a really useful visit, and we appreciated the work Formpave’s team went to. We are seeking to boost awareness of SuDS on a national and local level as the threat of flooding increases, and permeable paving can be an important element of these systems.”
Other guests included Mark Harris, Planning and Policy Advisor for the Home Builders Federation in Wales, and Phil Chatfield, Water Policy Advisor at the Welsh Government, which is currently looking at encouraging greater use of SuDS for new developments.
Dr Paul Ellis, Innovation Director for reports and data provider GeoSmart Information, who also attended the visit, said: “It was a valuable day spent with the Baroness demonstrating how SuDS make sense for communities and for holistic flood mitigation strategies at a more local level.”
The tour of the facility included a demonstration of Formpave’s ThermaPave, a SuDS capable of harvesting surface rainwater, which can then be used as the energy source for a ground source heat pump to provide energy efficient heating and cooling for buildings, effectively turning paved areas such as car parks into energy centres.
Gary Williams, General Manager of Formpave, said; “We’re leading the way in permeable paving systems that can work as part of SuDS, but we also need legislation to encourage the construction industry to make SuDS a priority. We know Baroness Parminter and others in the public sector are pushing for this, and we want to support them in any way we can.”
Established in 1989, Formpave is a world-leading authority in permeable paving. Its systems clean and drain surface water run-off in a controlled way and can also store water for purposes such as flushing lavatories, watering plants and washing cars.
Picture:Baroness Parminter meets with Formpave’s Operations Manager Chris Parker at the Formpave facility in Coleford.