Building control - 'Suprise! You need a soakaway!' (Or do I)

17 Oct 2020
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United Kingdom
Once again I've been subject to the randomness and inconsistency of the LABC - which is fine, it's an education at least but they've told me my kitchen extension roof must go into a soakaway.

The problem is it's the first time I've heard this.

We're essentially replacing what was already there, just making it further away from the house by 1500mm. We don't have a single soakaway on the property. The main roof of the house goes into mains drainage. The old extension roof did so too.

When they looked at the new extension roof hopper and asked where that lead to they said it couldn't go into the mains and had to go into a soakaway. The thing is, as much as we have a long garden it's populated by buildings, a pergola on top of a conrete slab and sandstone, a greenhouse and a garden office.

The only area we have is a small patch of grass between the main garden path and the fish pond and even then this triangular patch is 4 meters at it's furthest point from the extension foundations. Not 5 metres. However when pointing this out to the control officer they said it can be closer meaning it would sit three metres from the foundations and also in heavy clay soil.

The next possible area is 10 metres away but our garden pitches up by about a foot every 4 metres away from the house so I'm kinda stuck as to what to do about this because the soakaway would be so low as to sit in sandstone.

The new roof is 19 square metres in size. An increase of 10 square metres over the original, their request seems impractical. Has anyone tackled this before?
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If you are extending and connecting to existing guttering, then you can do that. if you are adding a new downpipe, it should go into a soakaway if feasible.

If you can demonstrate that a soakaway is not practical, then you can use the drains.
Surely if you're in heavy clay area your BCO knows this and that a soakaway won't work? BTW whilst you'll have an allowance for 10m2 but the new 9m2 you're certainly liable for, BCO's can be a bit daft sometimes.

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