Berewood Naturally – A Sustainable Urban Drainage Design
Case study

Berewood Naturally – A Sustainable Urban Drainage Design

Mayer Brown are helping Grainger plc to deliver the Berewood development site comprising 2,650 houses, an industrial estate, primary schools, town park and a community centre. A key feature of the development is the restoration of the River Wallington and the widespread use of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDs) features with the aim of reducing flood risk, enhancing public leisure amenities and protecting the sensitive ecology within the area.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment


The Challenge Posed by Oxford Clay

The geology of the site is predominantly Oxford clay so drainage at source (infiltration into the sub-strata) is not feasible. Therefore, the attenuation of rainwater run-off before it discharges to the River Wallingford basin has been a fundamental part of the drainage design to reduce the risk of flooding within and downstream of the site.

SuDs Success

The first SuDs features were constructed in 2013 and are now fully established. The indigenous planting is attracting a flourishing stock of wildlife including grebe’s, herons and even the odd kingfisher. The amenity value of the SuDs features has been recognised and so are co-ordinated wherever possible with the green corridors, which run through the site and in particular, with the new River Wallington and Newlands Community Nature Reserves.

The attenuation features are recognised as a fundamental part of the scheme and have been planned right from the concept stage, so they become an integral part of the nature/leisure amenity for the site.

The Phase 8 SuDs basin is one of over 70 basins serving Berewood and was completed in September 2022. It is designed to reduce the run-off rate from a 5.33Ha residential site to mimic predevelopment conditions. Discharge from the pond is restricted to 28l/s using a vortex flow control, whilst the stored head water is contained in a 2,400cu.m ‘natural basin’. The basin is currently being landscaped and we are looking forward to seeing the results over the summer season. If the success of other completed SuDs is anything to go by, then we expect to see an increase in local wildlife and indigenous planting.

Our highly experienced team of Engineers work for a range of clients and industries offering key Flood Risk Assessments and Drainage services. Get in touch to discuss your project requirements.

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Dry earth with grass coming from the left side and trees to reverse

Small man made body of water created for urban drainage


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