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Planning Permission for Driveways

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 21 Apr 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Driveway Drive Build Plan Project

Following a change in the law in England in October 2008, planning permission is now required for homeowners wishing to pave a front garden with a hardstanding of more than five square metres if they are not using a permeable material. One of the main reasons for the new legislation is that the conversion of gardens to driveways in urban areas has increased the amount of water that goes into the storm drains when it rains, and this has contributed to the increase in flooding.

New Regulations

Under the new regulations, planning permission is not required if you are creating a driveway from a semi-permeable or permeable material, or if the water is directed to a lawn, border or Soakaway to drain naturally. This is to make sure that rainwater slowly seeps into the road drainage system, rather than running straight into the drainage system which causes flooding.

Of course, one or two driveways will not have a noticeable impact on the drainage system, but the trend for turning a garden into a driveway has become increasing popular in recent years, as many householders prefer to have parking space than a front lawn. The cumulative effect of water flowing from thousands of paved gardens has added extra pressure on an archaic drainage system that was never designed to cope with the increased water levels. In fact, hard surfaces can increase surface water run-off by up to 50%.

What are Acceptable Materials?

The type of permeable surfaces that are acceptable include Gravel, permeable Block Paving, and porous concrete and asphalt. Driveways built before October 2008 do not have to gain planning permission retrospectively.

There are also other issues for preventing gardens being turned into driveways, such as the destruction of microclimates where insects and grubs can survive that in turn are food for small animals and birds, and the fact that hard surfaces reflect the heat of the sun rather than absorb it.

Contact the Highways Department

One specific point where discussions with the local council will be required is if you plan to put in a new driveway that crosses the pavement or verge outside your home. In this instance, you will need to obtain the permission of the Highways Department at the council. They will also require that the kerb be dropped to road level so that it isn’t damaged when you drive your car over it.

The process for doing this varies from region to region. Some councils will insist on doing the work themselves, but others will only do it if they happen to be resurfacing at the time. If they don't do it themselves they will probably require you to use approved contractors to do the work. If that's the case get a variety of quotes, as charges seem to vary wildly.

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We want to create a parking space in the front part of where our raised front garden sits.Will mean supporting the earth in front of our house in some way, as well as paving the area and getting the kerb dropped. Does any one know what regulations we need to find out about for the supporting the ground in front of our house (as whole house sits quite a bit higher than the pavement)! Thanks!
Nick - 21-Apr-19 @ 9:28 PM
A neighbour has just widened his drive using tarmac which has replaced grass outside his house .This extension to his drive has used a third of the turnaround for the close is thus legal .Any vehicle will exit straight into the turnaround itself
Fred - 18-Apr-19 @ 3:32 PM
Hi I have made a gravel driveway, used all necessary material. The council will not extend my driveway because I have used shingle. they have told be to use a hard standing material to be able to get the extension. Can I appeal this as it stupid I think. I was told I can use whatever I like by the council on my own land before laying down the gravel.
Gster - 27-Mar-19 @ 11:44 PM
Hi I have have removed my wall as someone damaged it months ago and reported it to the police I now pull off the road to park on my property I cannot afford to re build it if I sell the house will I be fined or getting in trouble as it was not my fault it got knocked down
Bob - 27-Mar-19 @ 8:01 PM
Hi my neighbours property now has a drive that sits at 90 degrees to our parking space. On our land registry title plan that we got upon purchase of our property it shows the space outside his house to be ours ( there are demarkation marks set into the road surface which matches this) he now says we must give him complete access to his off road parking and that the local authority own the road alloted as ours. Who is right the LA or Land registry?Also if he has converted a garden into off road parking do we HAVE to stop parking in our space/land as this now blocks his new driveway which was previously a garden
Lee - 18-Mar-19 @ 6:31 PM
Hi, we've recently changed the material of our driveway from stones to tarmac, We have a large driveway of 60m2. We have put a soakaway in to stop any water falling onto the road. Did we need planning permission for this? Thankyou.
Rach - 28-Feb-19 @ 11:43 PM
Do I have to use tarmac for the crossing up to the property boundary ? The drive will cross two public paths, which are concrete flags. I have been granted planning permission.. just would like to do it all in block paving if I can.
Darren - 2-Feb-19 @ 1:20 PM
On a narrow rural lane (one car width) are you allowed to open an entrance to a new propertydirectly opposite existing property's drives
Jackie - 21-Dec-18 @ 1:20 PM
Hi, do I have to get a permit to convert the front garden into a driveway if I do not need to drop the kerb? The driveway will be at the same level as with the grass level and there is no draining hole or similar facilities on the space.
James - 24-Nov-18 @ 5:33 PM
I’m trying to find a definite answer as the information seems to be very vauge in this area. My neighbour has just had their some patch of grass at the front of their house tarmac for an extra parking space for the house. The space is barely 2.1m and would prevent us being able to open the car door of our own driveway which explains why the grass was put there in the first place. For a small area like that would they have needed to apply for planning permison for drainage and the water will now run off the tarmac towards our front door. What I really need to know is 1. Do you need planning permission to change a surface from grass to tarmac and is drainage essential 2. Is there legally a width a parking space should be Many thanks
Em - 31-Oct-18 @ 2:26 PM
30 years ago we closed off a drive and started using a different one, The old drive is still there but it is under soil and grass and has been fenced off along the pavement edge. Due to a change in circumstances we need to re open the old drive by uncovering and repairing the old surface, remove the fence and install a gate set back from the road. The drop kerb is still in place as it was never removed. So, do I need planning permission to open up and re-instate what was/is always there or can we just get on with it?
Pipoc - 17-Oct-18 @ 7:02 PM
hi i have a nabour we live on a walk and the highways department have removed the bollards and made a hard standing so my nabour can drive a vehicle down to park in there garden without a dropped kerbs to the highway, Is this illegal for the council highways division to do this and would they need planning permission
sav - 16-Oct-18 @ 11:24 AM
I live in a flat (two storey and I own the top flat) The tenants of the flat below have removed the grassed front garden in front of the flats and replaced with stones and is now being used as a car parking space. This is actually a breach of the lease as it states grassed areas have to remain grassed, so I am currently taking this up with my Managment Company. But I also wanted to know if they have broken other laws/regulations eg: should they have applied for planning permission for this? Should they have asked for my consent? I am also in the middle of selling my flat and this has caused a lot of issues. Any advice/guidance would be much appreciated as this is causing me a lot of stress and aniexty. Thank you
C - 30-Sep-18 @ 3:38 PM
I am purchasing a rural property near Chichester.and would like to create an entrance further along the lane from the current shared entrance with a couple of heavy vehicle companies. There is evidence of other plots having an entrance from the lane and it would run straight into a small paddock which is part of the plot. Do I need permission to create this access point?
Gander - 19-Sep-18 @ 6:47 AM
We want to convert part of our front garden into a driveway, but to access the driveway we would have to drive through a area of shared garages (none of these garages are ours). There is no kerb. Would be need planning permission? We're struggling to get an answer from anywhere
TreeFern - 25-Aug-18 @ 8:24 PM
Hi, have an existing driveway with a dropped curb that I want to replace and widen across the front garden to provide more parking. Do I need planning permission to extend the dropped curb? Thankyou Karen
Kareng - 13-Jul-18 @ 2:25 PM
Hi , I am wanting to make my yard into a driveway at the back of a terraced house. Is it allowed ?
Andrea123 - 10-Jun-18 @ 10:24 PM
Looking for a reputable tarmacadam company in or around Halifax/Huddersfield. We have about 200 sq mtrs of sloping driveway which is currently hard cored. Any suggestions or recommendations would be welcomed (without prejudice) .
Alan - 29-May-18 @ 2:22 PM
I am looking to shorten the driveway at the side of my semi-detached house as to use if for two cars always means swapping them round depending on who leaves first. I would like to change it to garden and bring the fence to the front of the house which still leaves enough space for one car. On having someone round to quote they said I would need to check with the local council as they might have a problem with me decreasing car spaces on the estate, is this possible?
LH - 23-May-18 @ 6:05 PM
Hi I would like to convert my garden into a driveway but have been told by the local council that I can't do because there is a commnul path that I would have to cross to access the main road I would only cross the communal path roughly the size of about 3ft do you know if there are any laws in Scotland that state that you can't drive over a commnul path as this is the reason my application has been rejected regards jim
Scooby - 17-May-18 @ 11:58 AM
When was the regulations changed. That you arnt alowed two droped kerbs in one house ie one at the front one at the back of the house.in higham ferrers northampton
Dave - 20-Apr-18 @ 1:39 PM
I have a long standing shared concrete drive. We want to replace the old concrete with new concrete,do we need to put in a soakaway?
Hovis - 9-Apr-18 @ 1:12 PM
My neighbour has recently dug up his front garden and replaced it with concrete. The concrete is non porous, there wasnt any rebar added to the constuction, the overall job and finish is very poor. I may be fussing for no reason but was wondering who I would complain to with the hope of having it checked out. I live in Wakefield
Shakes - 4-Apr-18 @ 3:25 PM
what Is the maximum height of a wall I can build on my drive with solid bricks? Can I add rails/gates on top? How high can I go?
Nez - 29-Mar-18 @ 9:13 PM
We are about to have our tarmac driveway resurfaced with tarmac. One company insists that we must install a drain to the point where it meets the publicfootpath. Others say it does not need this because it is and existing drive. Which is correct?
BP - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:21 PM
Hi, hopefully I can get some advice on this. We want to have a driveway but it's not very straight forward, we live on a main road (class A road) in a conservation area. Decent size front garden (around 12 meters wide) but fairly close to a bus stop (10-15 meters away). We also need to knock down some of part of the front garden knee high brick wall to make way for the driveway, not sure if this detail is important.
Rey - 21-Mar-18 @ 4:03 PM
drivewaydummy - Your Question:
Hi im wanting to turn the garden down the side of my house into a drive way. there is a public footpath that runs along side my fence. and crosses the road where I would need to be pulling on/off driveway, how likely is it that the council will allow this?

Our Response:
We really don't know as it will depend on a number of factors such as how well used the path is, what the visibility is like, the kind of the road that you will exiting onto etc. It's probably best to ask the council, it's usually the Highway and/or planning departments that deal with this.
DrivewayExpert - 20-Feb-18 @ 10:04 AM
Hi im wanting to turn the garden down the side of my house into a drive way. there is a public footpath that runs along side my fence. and crosses the road where i would need to be pulling on/off driveway, how likely is it that the council will allow this?
drivewaydummy - 15-Feb-18 @ 1:27 PM
kt - Your Question:
We would like to change the side of our driveway to the other side but were refused by the highway agency. we would like to join it to our neighbours and cannot understand why they can have a drive but we can't?! on the existing side it is very steep and we were told we had to use gravel and we are worried it will just end up slipping into the road.please can you help?

Our Response:
We can't really comment on highway department decisions as we don't have the full details.
DrivewayExpert - 14-Feb-18 @ 2:32 PM
we would like to change the side of our driveway to the other side but were refused by the highway agency. we would like to join it to our neighbours and cannot understand why they can have a drive but we can't?! on the existing side it is very steep and we were told we had to use gravel and we are worried it will just end up slipping into the road. please can you help?
kt - 13-Feb-18 @ 6:55 PM
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