Do I need planning permission to re-pave my driveway?
Many homeowners wonder whether or not they will need planning permission when they are considering re-paving their front driveway or garden. If you are going to be using permeable material to resurface the area which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, then you will not need planning permission. This is regardless of the size of the area, and whether or not it is a completely new or replacement driveway. Similarly, if water drains naturally because it is directed to a lawn or border, you will not need planning permission. However, if you’re using a non-permeable material and the surface you’re covering is more than five square metres, you will need to apply for planning permission. This is because these materials do not provide water drainage to a suitable area. Applying for planning permission in this instance requires drawing plans to scale and a fee of around £150. Once you have submitted your planning permission application, you should receive a response within 8 weeks.

What is the governments stance on materials used for your driveway?

The government’s stance on permeable and non-permeable materials stems from the 2007 flooding that affected different areas of the UK and caused damage of around £3bn, as well as tragic loss of life. This flooding was largely due to drains being unable to cope with the heavy rainfall. Because of the possibility of future heavy rainfall, and flooding, due to the effects of climate change, the government want to do all they can to ensure proper drainage throughout the UK. Whilst paving over a few gardens here and there will cause no problems, if entire streets start using non-permeable materials it will severely increase the risk of flooding. There’s also the risk of too much water infiltrating sewage systems, causing pollution overflows which can cause damage to the wildlife and the wider environment.

Incorporate vegetated areas around your driveway

That’s why it is recommended to either incorporate green, vegetated areas into your driveway area, use gravel, permeable block paving or porous asphalt or concrete, or direct water from a non-permeable surface to a border rain garden or soakaway. These regulations apply to front garden and driveway areas only. Different rules apply for back gardens and for other types of properties other than houses, such as flats. If you’re looking to incorporate fences, walls or gates, you may need planning permission. Dropped kerbs also require planning permission because the pavement may need strengthening and underground water pipes have to be considered. To discuss your upcoming driveway project, contact us at Premier Surfacing, we’re block paving specialists who can transform your driveway.
Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock