When it comes to making modifications to your home, there are quite a few things you have to seek planning permission for. But we bet you didn’t think that one of those would be having a new driveway put in. After all, why would you? It’s simply re-doing something that was already there, and you aren’t going to be building upwards or outwards with a driveway. So why on earth would you need planning permission for one?
The answer is all to do with drainage, and today we wanted to explain what factors might mean you need planning permission for that lovely new driveway.
In 2008, new regulations called SUDS were brought in to govern whether or not driveways would require planning permission. These regulations state that anyone wanting to replace or install a driveway, patio or similar in their front garden need to apply for planning permission, unless:
- It’s less than 5 square meters
- The material is permeable
- The materials are laid so that rainwater discharges onto a lawn or flowerbed for natural drainage
- You have installed a working soakaway and drainage channel
In other words, if your driveway is small, of permeable materials (like gravel or permeable block paving), you’re probably OK. But a lot of modern driveways are being built from non-permeable materials like granite, ceramic or even resin, which means there is nowhere for water to sink into during rain, car washing and other events. This means that water will likely to run straight into a road drainage system and cause flooding – which is why you need planning permission.
How to Avoid Planning Permission
Luckily, it’s very easy to avoid needing to apply for planning permission for your new driveway, even if you want to use a non-permeable material like resin. All you need to do is make sure you are disposing of the water on your own property, and not into the road. This can be done in a lot of different ways, including directing the water to drain into lawns or boarders in your property, so that very little water slowly seeps into the road drainage system instead of pouring in and causing problems. If this isn’t possible for you, then you can still get around it by installing your own soakaway on the property, which will help the driveway drain naturally. A soakaway is basically a trench filled with a semi-permeable substance or structure that can collect excess water and slow it down on the way to the main drainage system, preventing flooding. They are simple and easy to install if done at the same time as your driveway, and give you an easy out when it comes to planning.
So why are we telling you this? Because we’ve noticed over the last few months that a lot of other driveway companies are installing new driveways that require planning permission, without actually getting planning permission for them. This is generally bad practice, and can cause a lot of problems for the homeowner down the line, including fines, or having to apply retrospectively for planning permission, which is expensive and can be rejected, meaning you would have to destroy your new driveway!
At JB Landscaping we believe in being as honest as possible with all of our clients about their project. We are always sure to stay up to date on the latest legislation, so we understand what you need to do for any landscaping project to stay on the right side of the council. We work with you to create driveway designs that suit your needs and meet the legal requirements for drainage at the same time – including installing soakaways to ensure you don’t need planning permission! And if you do need planning permission, we will tell you right away and guide you through the process of applying for it. if you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today.