Drainage and flooding

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Ipswich Borough Council no longer has a drainage engineering service.

Knowing who is responsible

Anglian Water is responsible for public sewerage and sewage treatment in Ipswich. Most sewers serving at least two properties are now the responsibility of Anglian Water. Most drains under the public highway serving at least one property are also Anglian Water's.

The Environment Agency is responsible for main rivers and tidal flood defences.

Suffolk County Council is responsible for highway drainage, including puddles and blocked highway gullies. To report a flood via the Suffolk County Council website click on the pink button below:

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Flood risk management

Suffolk County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority as defined in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

Their Suffolk Flood Risk Management Partnership web page includes the Local Flood risk Management Strategy which helps everyone understand and manage flood risk within Suffolk. The web page also provides guidance for developers on sustainable drainage and a protocol which explains Suffolk County Council's role as a statutory consultee in the planning process regarding surface water drainage and local flooding related to major development proposals.

Drainage Related Documents

Ipswich Borough Council Development and Flood Risk Supplementary Planning Document

Flood risk is a key planning consideration. The Development and Flood Risk Supplementary Planning Document supports the implementation of Council’s adopted Local Plan policies relating to flood risk. 

Ipswich Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) - Surface Water Management Plans - Green Suffolk

This was drafted in 2012 and is currently being reviewed with updated modelling expected to be released in 2026. This will then inform future flood risk reduction projects in the Ipswich catchment area and also be uploaded into the national ‘long term risk of flooding from surface water’ mapping hosted on the government website, to improve the accuracy of local mapping. In the meantime, the 2012 version includes detailed information about watercourse, sewer and pipe networks within the Ipswich area and assessments of particular areas known to be at risk of surface water flooding alongside the outputs from the modelled work undertaken to support the plan. 

Ipswich Strategic Flood Risk Assessment - level 2

The purpose of the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment is to collate relevant and up to date information on the risk of flooding to the Borough from all sources, including the impact of climate change in the future, so that appropriate planning responses can be made.

Suffolk Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

This strategy and its appendices outline how the Suffolk Flood Risk Management Partnership will manage flood risk in Suffolk. The Suffolk Flood Risk Management Strategy was updated in February 2023.

Suffolk Flood Risk: Sustainable Drainage Systems (Suffolk SuDS Guide, Appendix A to the Suffolk Flood Risk Management Strategy)

This document provides guidance as to what is expected by Suffolk County Council in their role as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and is derived from the CIRIA SuDS Manual whilst reflecting local requirements to ensure SuDS features are adoptable locally and do not threaten the vulnerable aquifers which are used for potable water abstraction. This was most recently updated in 2023 and the main changes comprise a move away from underground conveyance and storage of water, instead prioritising open SuDS which achieve the 4 pillars of SuDS (management of water quality and quantity while also providing biodiversity and amenity value).

Shoreline Management Plan ‘SMP8 Essex and South Suffolk’ published in 2010 remains the current shoreline management plan for Ipswich. It can be accessed here: Essex & South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan. There is an ‘SMP Refresh’ underway, but currently the 2010 document remains in use.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Planning Policy,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432019