Sustainable Drainage Approval Body (SAB)

As of the 7th January 2019, any works greater than 100 square metres (10mx10m) that impacts on drainage will need prior consent from us. Unlike planning consent, this permission is required prior to the commencement of any part of these works. It is advised that Sustainable Drainage Approval Body (SAB) consent is sought prior to any planning consent.

What is a SAB?

Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA) establishes SABs in county councils. The Act gives us statutory responsibility for approving and adopting the approved drainage systems.

The SAB is established to:

  • Evaluate and approve drainage applications for new developments where construction work has drainage implications, and
  • Adopt and maintain surface water drainage systems according to Section 17 of Schedule 3 (FWMA).

The SAB does not approve and, as consequence does not adopt, a drainage system which:

  • forms part of the strategic road network
  • forms part of the national rail network
  • forms part of a harbour
  • serves permitted development under 100m2 and
  • is constructed by the internal drainage board under its functions in the Land Drainage Act 1991.

The SAB approves and adopts any part of a drainage system that serves more than a single property.

Developers will need to enter into a legal adoption agreement as a part of the SAB consent process.

The SAB approves but will not adopt a drainage system in a publicly maintained road. Publicly maintained roads are those to which section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 applies.

It is proposed to make transitional arrangements as follows:

  • 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 – but see also below) 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.
  • 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.

The application fees are proportionate to size and scale of the construction area.

Area of Development Calculation
< or = 0.5 hectares £350 + £70 for each 0.1 hectare
> 0.5 and < or = 1 hectares £700 + £50 for each 0.1 hectare
> 1 and < or = 5 hectares £950 + £20 for each 0.1 hectare
> 1 and < or = 5 hectares £1750 + £10 for each 0.1 hectare

Site Inspection Fees

As a part of the SAB consent, site inspections will be agreed and conditioned.  These will ensure construction is to the required standards and to ensure general compliance with the consent. Fees are due to be set nationally by Welsh Government. 


We will require payment of a non-performance bond to guarantee construction of the drainage system to the agreed standards.

Maintenance Fees (for drainage systems adopted by us only)

We will charge a maintenance fee to those who discharge to the adopted drainage systems.  These fees cover annual maintenance and inspections in perpetuity. 

Carmarthenshire County Council, under paragraph 11(5) of Schedule-3 must determine:

  • an application that relates to a development that is the subject of an EIA application under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2017 within the period of 12 weeks beginning on the first working day after it receives a validly-made application, or
  • any other application within the period of 7 weeks beginning on the first working day after it receives a validly-made application

Page updated on: 19/10/2018