Driveway Legislation

With more and more people on the roads all the time, many families now have more than one car. In some cases, there may be two, three, or even four in a household. The problem that comes with this, is where do we park them all?

The simple alternative has always been to adapt your front garden to accommodate a vehicle or two. Whilst this works fine for the family, as more and more people switched lawn for a landing strip added strain was put on drains as they struggled to take away the water now running from the front of houses.

As a result of this side effect, changes to UK legislation in 2008 mean that in certain circumstances you may need to gain planning permission before going ahead with a driveway. The rulings state that driveways creating more than five square meters of non-permeable material, need to be signed off first by the local authority.

What Do You Need to Know?

If you plan to lay more than five squared meters of the driveway, replacing lawn or flower beds, you’ll need to contact the council. Exceptions to this rule are made if you plan on using permeable or semi-permeable materials for the drive. Other exceptions include; if the runoff from the drive will end on a lawn or flower bed; if the runoff is directed to a soakaway or permeable border where it can drain slowly and naturally.

If you plan on using gravel, or a permeable block paving, this should sufficiently stop the flow of water into the drain. As hard surfaces create 50% more runoff, opting for a driveway that combats the issue will help in the event that the council has declined permission for the conversion.

If your driveway runs across a pavement or verge, the local authority may also require you to lower the curb. This work is sometimes undertaken by the council or sometimes left to the property owner using recommended contractors. This work prevents damage from your vehicle travelling back and forth over the pavement or verge. 

Planning Accepted

Once your local authority has approved the work, you can get started. It always pays to think of the environment and local resources. If you are lucky enough to have the space to fit both a car and garden space, then directing your runoff towards the grass will only help your plight. For advice, or if you’re considering a new driveway, feel free to contact us via our contact form.