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Planning Permission for Driveways

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 27 Feb 2021 | 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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Hi i live in a cul-dey-sac and im looking at making my front garden into a drive but i will have to come over the grass first.we have parking in the street but some times there are no space so i have to park on the grass, then we have to keep an eye on the car because the kids start running around it and im scared that the kids will mark it any advice on what i can do thanks.
Jim - 27-Feb-21 @ 12:53 PM
Hi looking at buying a house in Wanstead conservation area. House looking at has a drive that has been in place pre 1996. Has a dropped kerb to road. They have no proof of having obtained planning permission. Should I raise it as an issue? Most of it other properties in road have a drive and dropped kerb too. Hope you can help. Thanks Lesley
Lizzlelog - 18-Jan-21 @ 1:06 PM
Hi, looking for some advice on a driveway application. Our planning application was declined as front garden is about 2m long and just under the new regulations by a small amount. We are in a semi detached house and the neighbour has the same driveway and has dropped the kerb, I'm guessing before the new rules. Is there anyway I can appeal? Thanks in advance
Okras - 17-Nov-20 @ 9:54 PM
I have a neighbor who has block paved his front garden the water when it rains heavy comes my way and floods my garden what can we do about it 2 years its been done
TJ - 26-Aug-20 @ 6:40 PM
Can I urinate on my drive and call it shelly?
Cunt - 23-May-20 @ 2:25 PM
Hi I’m in the process of selling my fathers house he laid slabs on the front garden but this was pre the planning regs that came into force in October 2008. Be grateful for some advice Thank you
Becks - 18-Jan-20 @ 6:18 PM
I live in a conservation area and want to create a new additional driveway on the other side of our house. The space would be enough to park 1 large vehicle but not large enough to turn around. I have been told that any new driveway must allow space to turn around to avoid reversing out onto the highway and, therefore, I would not get planning permission from the Highways Dept. Is this the case?
Jamie56 - 30-Oct-19 @ 2:13 PM
I live in Brooklyn park and I want to widen mydriveway and do I need a permission
Deion - 27-Oct-19 @ 11:09 PM
I live In Brooklyn park mn and I want to widen my driveway Do I need a permission
Deion - 27-Oct-19 @ 11:06 PM
We live in an AONB area and want to widen our driveway (and access) to 2 car access- with porous material. We have been told by planning that because the road is classified we will need planning permission. The road is a quiet road through the village. There is no pavement, so no dropped curb issue Thanks Sue
Jane - 12-Aug-19 @ 12:19 PM
Last year our neighbour had some trees removed from the front of there house, which were partly on the road.they have since tarmac'ed there entire driveway which can now house up to 8 cars.before the trees were removed, there was a layby where cars could park without blocking their driveway, but since its been tarmac'ed, the layby has disappeared and they seem to of taken ownership of this land.Who would I need to speak to to report this in the Cannock area.They also have taken to parking right on the edges of the driveway to make it difficult for us to gain access to our wheelie bins and the neighbours the other side, to access their car and driveway. Any help and advice wold be greatly appreciated.
Treacle - 25-Jul-19 @ 11:01 AM
Hi I went to the council last week to ask for planning permission to cross grass verge and public foot path to get to the front of my house to use as a drive I was told the grass verge was highway land to then find out it's together housing land so ha e contacted them and they ha e come back with a outcome as to either lease the land for 10 years or buy the grass verge I wasn't really planning on buying the land just wanted permission to cross it.
Ricky - 25-Jul-19 @ 7:55 AM
i have a large 40 meter frontage to my property and would like to put in a dual aspect turn around drive. do i need planning permission ? i would need a second kerb drop. The previous owners were refused planning in 2001 and not sure if the legal requirement is still relevant
Trubby - 17-Jul-19 @ 9:29 AM
i have a large 30 meter frontage to my property and would like to put in a dual aspect turn around drive. do i need planning permission ? i would need a second kerb drop
WH - 22-Jun-19 @ 7:36 AM
Hi, I am looking to block pave my front garden it 70m2 will have a soakaway installed and the paving will be sealed. The drop kerb is already approved and installed. Do I need planning permission to install the block paving ?
Jks88 - 19-May-19 @ 8:40 PM
I had my drive tarmacked Jan 2018, a lovely job. However the wider space where people turn round is churning up the tarmac already and looks very "scruffy". It cost me £11,000!! I have been told it could be sealed at a further cost of £900. Have I any redress with the construction company that did the job? Your comments would be appreciated.Thank you.
Muscles - 19-May-19 @ 5:53 PM
Hello, I only have one little question. Do I need planning permission for a dropped kerb in a cul de sac? Many thanks Alex
Alex - 18-May-19 @ 8:31 AM
Hi, I am looking to replace existing crazy paving driveway with a gravel driveway. Our water meter is within our driveway as is a cable stay for an electricity telegraph pole. I assume both assets have been installed within a concrete plinth /encasement by the asset owner. I’m looking to understand if I can replace the crazy paving with gravel working around then above constraints. Thanks in advance. Mark
Mark - 16-May-19 @ 7:22 PM
Hi I cannot find what in the England is the minimum driveway opening, our driveway opening we want to make is 2.3m and opens up significantly, can someone please tell me the specific document and page that details this. Thanks
La - 30-Apr-19 @ 6:40 PM
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
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