permeable driveway myth planning permission

May 31st, 2015

Permeable driveway myth planning permission

A permeable driveway myth commonly written is that if you install an impermeable surface over 5sqm of a front garden you will require planning permission.


permeable driveway myth


The use of impermeable surfaces over 5msqm  THAT DRAIN DIRECT to the sewer will require planning permission.

Which is not the same as a permeable driveway myth commonly written “ if you install an impermeable surface over 5sqm of a front garden you will require planning permission “

Because permeable surfaces can  help manage or reduce flooding and other adverse impacts associated with increased rainfall and runoff in urban areas they can be an  advantage.  However they are not a must.

“There are many different types of permeable surfaces including gravel, reinforced grass, concrete block permeable paving and porous asphalt. These allow the water to soak into the ground beneath or provide underground storage. Impermeable surfaces can also be drained in a more sustainable way by using soakaways and rain gardens that also allow water to soak into the ground beneath.

This report discusses the design, construction, maintenance and performance of the various surfaces together with associated quantification of costs and benefits. The use of permeable surfaces in all areas of the built environment can help to reduce the risk of flooding and pollution of watercourses. They also have many other environmental benefits.

Changes have been made to the permitted development rights (PDR) for homeowners so that front gardens can now be paved over with permeable materials without the need to apply for planning permission. The use of impermeable surfaces over 5m2 that drain direct to the sewer will require planning permission to be applied for. The Government is also considering extending this approach to back gardens and non-domestic buildings inline with recommendations from the Pitt flooding review (Cabinet Office, 2008)”

The report  from the  Department for Communities and Local Government “ Understanding permeable and impermeable surfaces  Technical report on surfacing options and cost benefit analysis”    also  highlights

“If sufficient area is covered by permeable surfaces it can help to reduce the risk of flooding from sewers and water courses. Quantitative information on the benefits of permeable surfaces is provided in Section 3. Some 68 percent of respondents to the Communities and Local Government consultation on this subject felt that there needed to be a national restriction on hard surfaces. Many existing sewers are at or beyond their capacity to accept rainwater. Climate change may increase the volumes of rainfall that occur and therefore the risk of flooding from sewers and water courses could very well increase, even without any extra areas contributing flows. Reducing the flow of rainwater by using permeable surfaces will therefore help to mitigate against the effects of climate change, although it should not be seen as the only solution.

The permitted development rights also allow extensions, garages, conservatories, etc that could potentially cover a greater area of gardens than driveways and other hard areas. The roofs of these structures behave as hard impermeable areas when rain falls and thus the impact of these on surface water flow to sewers could be greater than driveways.

In some areas and sites the use of permeable surfaces alone may not be feasible, for example due to the slope of the ground or the type of soil. Similar benefits can be achieved if impermeable surfaces are drained to soakaways or rain gardens or if permeable surfaces are connected to the drains and these are discussed later in this section”

So don’t be fooled by this permeable driveway myth.  One of our beliefs is that if it is not broken don’t fix it.  Look at the surface that already exists and if it works leave it.  Bring it up todate – Recycle it!  Concrete tarmac or imprinted concrete we can resurface with an impermeable surface – resin bonded stone.  Why impermeable?  because if a surface is permeable then weeds can embed.

  • Resin bonded stone  for use with an existing surface  bring your garden to the driveway and your driveway to the garden.  No mess no disruption, can be completed in a day.


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