Driveway Contractor and Patio Specialist in Westhoughton Bolton Wigan Atherton


Driveway  Planning Permission

Planning Permission for Block Paving Driveways From 1 October 2008 new rules apply for householders wanting to pave over their front gardens.

New Government legislation for front garden paving From 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front gardens for hard standings without planning permission has changed.

Planning permission is now required to lay traditional impermeable driveways that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater from the front gardens onto the road because this can contribute to flooding and pollution of watercourses

If a new driveway or parking area is constructed using permeable surfaces such as permeable block paving, porous asphalt or gravel or if the water is able to soak into the ground via soil borders or a soak away you will not require planning permission

These new planning rules also apply to where existing hard standing are being replaced and apply to hard surfaces exceeding 5 square metres in area

Applying for planning permission will require you to fill in an application form, draw plans which have to be to scale and pay a fee of £ 150. Planning applications for this type of development should normally be decided within 8 weeks after submission

The Reason
More and more householders are laying hard surfaces over front gardens to provide off-road parking. At present there are no restrictions on a householder's ability to do so. Hard surfaces lead to accelerated run-off of surface water which can overload sewerage systems in more urban areas. This problem is likely to intensify as climate change produces more torrential downpours.

The Government intends, therefore, to require that paving installed using permitted development rights does not make this problem worse. In future paving in front gardens will not be permitted development rights unless the surface allows the water to drain away naturally. This can be achieved in a number of ways - most simply by ensuring that water runs off to an unpaved area such as a garden border.

SUDS - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems When considering covering a larger area with paving, or blocks, dealing with rainfall is a serious consideration. During a typical storm, vast amounts of water can fall onto the large area of a car park or driveway, and this has to go somewhere. The worst thing you can do is to create a water trap, where huge lakes are created whenever there is a downpour!

Problems of water management are worsened when you have to cover an area which has slopes and low points. These are the natural places for water to head, and they will get silted up and damaged very quickly unless something is done to prevent the water running to these points in the first place.

The modern solution to covering a large area, is to use permeable paving. This consists of small brick or concrete sections closely set together, but not actually physically connected together. These can be laid out in an attractive pattern, for example marking parking places and roadways with different colours. However the secret to a permeable paving area is the way that rain water is handled.

Permeable paving blocks are often laid upon oil separation layers in car parks. This is in turn placed on a permeable aggregate layer, which allows water to disperse in the area where it falls. There is no need to add in a complicated sewerage system in many cases. For really large areas, a simple piping system is added so that excess water can be removed and dealt with, but this is simple to do on all land areas because of the simple way that the permeable blocks are laid.

Frost damage is unlikely because water is dealt with so efficiently, and because there is an amount of movement between blocks. The insulating effect of the blocks also goes a long way to creating a long lasting covering - much better than a tarmac covering.

For any larger area, you must consult the experts to have your land assessed. This will ensure that all of the features of your particular land, and the uses that you will have, are taken into account. However, in the long run, a permeable block paving area, combined with appropriate SUDS will ensure that you have a long lasting area which is usable all year round, whatever the weather.

Please Note :
We do not offer Free advice on block paving planning permission, you need to contact your local planning department in your town