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Planning Permission for Driveways

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 30 Apr 2017 | 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 on a small narrow single road.i hav lived there for 10yrs. In the past two years i have got a car so up until then i hadnt had any need for a drive. Which was pretty tight to get car onto so rarely used.If cars are parked outside property cars still can pass. Before i moved into this property the neighbours opposite had created there own drive directly inline with mine. They have no dropped kerb so harder for him to get on and off. And for the past two years because i have a car parked on my drive and park infrount of house he decides to vandalise my car. On hes many dog walks at random hours am or pm. I hav found raw meats, oil gunk. Thorns nails around tyres. .hoover contents. On or around my car and visitors cars. I hav put lighting and cameras up n he manages not to be caught. I hav reported to council and police but they havent done anything and with lack of proof of the person in the act even tho the rest of neighbours and the lady next door who sold her home because of them confirmed who it is.I need to know if its legal to hav such a small road with the drives opposite. It has been hell coming home from work and having to clean up before parking having to check car each morning before leave. I do not want to start anything with them as i want to live peacefuly.but i am at the end especially as its affecting my daughter where she is getting parranoid with the things going on
tt - 30-Apr-17 @ 3:00 PM
We live in a beautiful area with grass verges along the pavements and beautiful trees. However the actual street that I live on is known as the parking lot as there is double parking all the way down it. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a row of 10 terraced houses with no parking spaces. If these houses extended their driveways up to the kerb then there would be enough space to park 2 cars side by side in each driveway. Is there a possibility the council would let us do this?? It is a cul-de-sac so losing the pavement on one side shouldn't make it unsafe.
Eggy - 27-Apr-17 @ 6:15 PM
I live on a cul-de-sac which has a shared access with 5 other properties, we have our front half tarmac driveway and half garden.I want to infill the garden and cover with pebbles to allow for more car parking space - we could fit 4 cars in a row this way leaving our driveway accessible for neighbours to turn if necessary.There is no kerb on the premises as that is only at the bottom of the main road of the cul-de-sac.The only issue I can see is that there is one spot on the shared road that you can park a car currently and if I pebble the garden bit, parking there will obstruct our driveway. Do I need permission from the council for any of this?
LJM - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:54 PM
Roseylee - Your Question:
Hi, I live in a corner house with A roads running along the side and front of our property. We also have traffic lights in front of our house. Our neighbour's have driveways but we have a lawn. I've always assumed we can't have a drive because of the lights. Is this the case? Are there rules about this?

Our Response:
It's likely this would be refused, but your local council will be able to give you a list of the relevant criteria to be sure.
DrivewayExpert - 21-Apr-17 @ 2:30 PM
Hi, I live in a corner house with A roads running along the side and front of our property. We also have traffic lights in front of our house. Our neighbour's have driveways but we have a lawn. I've always assumed we can't have a drive because of the lights. Is this the case? Are there rules about this?
Roseylee - 18-Apr-17 @ 8:00 PM
Jim - Your Question:
Would I require planning permission? I live on the end of a terrace on the main road! There is an area for which a parking space could be created by taking down a wall and inputting gravel etc to make the space. The curb is already dropped. Parking space would be small and only for one. It would mean reversing off the main road into it, but the road has decent visibility.Any thoughts?

Our Response:
If you want to put in a dropped kerb, you still have to apply to the council highways department, regardless of whether or not planning permission for the actual driveway is needed.
DrivewayExpert - 18-Apr-17 @ 11:45 AM
Would I require planning permission? I live on the end of a terrace on the main road! There is an area for which a parking space could be created by taking down a wall and inputting gravel etc to make the space. The curb is already dropped. Parking space would be small and only for one. It would mean reversing off the main road into it, but the road has decent visibility. Any thoughts?
Jim - 15-Apr-17 @ 6:42 PM
We currently have no off road parking but there is a lane next to our house that we have 'right of way' to access the rear of the property. We bought this when purchased the house. The lane is a dead end. We would like to convert our rear garden to enable us to park at the back of the property. We would lower the garden to be level with the laneand access the parking down the lane. Would we need planning permission? It is my ne'er standing that next door got planning permission to use the lane to access some land at the bottom of the lane to store 2 caravans. I would really appreciate any help from someone, ideally via email.
Liz - 8-Apr-17 @ 5:33 PM
Rick- Your Question:
Hi.we moved into our home about 2 years ago now but it doesn't have access to a driveway because we have to walk up an alleyway about 10 feet before we get to our gate, so a driveway in the front garden is out of the question. However we could easliy get access to our back garden but it means crossing the alley way to get to our back garden. The way I see it is that pretty much every driveway you drive onto you have to cross a form of pathway. Just wanted to get some advice on how to go about getting this in action. Reason being parking out on the road is mayhem it's a rat race home to get a parking spot.

Our Response:
The easiest thing to do is to talk to someone at your local planning and highways departments for details on what you can and can't do in the vicinity of your property.
DrivewayExpert - 29-Mar-17 @ 2:43 PM
Hi. We have been thinking for some time about taking away some of our back garden to replace with a driveway big enough for 2 cars. The issue is that our rear garden backs onto a main road with a lay-by/bus stop. Are there any circumstances that may prevent us from getting planning permission for this proposal because of our garden backing onto the main road? About 50 or so meters down the main road there are houses with driveways onto the road but they are the front gardens that have been made into driveways so not sure if there is a difference in permission. We live in a close with a corner plot with no front garden. The problem with parking has come about because everyone who can have a front drive installed HAS had a drive installed and really shrunk the parking for the area.
Wizz2130 - 28-Mar-17 @ 7:04 PM
Hi.we moved into our home about 2 years ago now but it doesn't have access to a driveway because we have to walk up an alleyway about 10 feet before we get to our gate, so a driveway in the front garden is out of the question. However we could easliy get access to our back garden but it means crossing the alley way to get to our back garden. The way I see it is that pretty much every driveway you drive onto you have to cross a form of pathway. Just wanted to get some advice on how to go about getting this in action. Reasonbeing parking out on the road is mayhem it's a rat race home to get a parking spot.
Rick - 28-Mar-17 @ 2:50 PM
Brendan - Your Question:
Do you need planning permission to remove an old Tarmac drive and replace it if your not making it any bigger and it's been down before 2008?

Our Response:
If you're replacing it with a permeable driveway you will not need permission. It's larger than 5 square metres and you are laying an impermeable surface then you will need planning permission.
DrivewayExpert - 22-Mar-17 @ 2:01 PM
Do you need planning permission to remove an old Tarmac drive and replace it if your not making it any bigger and it's been down before 2008?
Brendan - 19-Mar-17 @ 6:45 PM
Ash - Your Question:
Hi, I would like to convert my front garden into the driveway, which has a slope. As per the rules on the planning portal, permission is not required. When I went on the local council site for applying the drop kerb application, I noticed that there is a line which says "Also if the work involves land level change over 300 mm then this will also require planning permission. The planning portal will give you guidance"My question is "land level change form the gound level or the slope level"I am currently stuck with which one to really follow (council or planning portal). My local council planning help desk is not of that great help. Please can you provide some guidance on it.thank you.

Our Response:
We can't find anything that specifies this figure. Some driveway regulations specify a maximum gradient requirement of 4% (or 1 in 25). The example given may mean the change in level from the road to your actual property. Your planning officer will be able to help you.
DrivewayExpert - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:06 PM
Hi, I would like to convert my front garden into the driveway, which has a slope.As per the rules on the planning portal, permission is not required.When I went on the local council site for applying the drop kerb application, I noticed that there is a line which says "Also if the work involves land level change over 300 mm then this will also require planning permission.The planning portal will give you guidance" My question is "land level change form the gound level or the slope level" I am currently stuck with which one to really follow (council or planning portal).My local council planning help desk is not of that great help.Please can you provide some guidance on it. thank you.
Ash - 14-Mar-17 @ 1:08 PM
Niki - Your Question:
Hi weve recently bought a house in a culdasack and weve got a front garden and want to change it into a driveway what advice can you give me and the odds of us getting permission for it?

Our Response:
Your local council will be able to give you a list of the criteria you need to comply with. This will probably be on their website. The things that most highways authorities will take into account are: visibility, road type, proximity to junctions,bus stops, street lights etc
DrivewayExpert - 14-Mar-17 @ 10:38 AM
Hi weve recently bought a house in a culdasack and weve got a front garden and want to change it into a driveway what advice can you give me and the odds of us getting permission for it?
Niki - 11-Mar-17 @ 11:10 AM
HeidiC - Your Question:
Hi!We have just made an offer on a house which does not currently have off road parking but does have a front garden. The garden is raised possibly 3.5 feet above the road level as the house is on a hill. How likely is it that we would get permission to turn the front garden in to a drive? And at what point would it encroach on the foundations of the house? There could possibly still be 2-3feet of ground before the drop down to the drive. Thanks!

Our Response:
You would need to consult an engineer/surveyor about this really. Your local planning/building control officers will be able to help with general advice..such as gradient etc, but there may be more involved (we don't know what type of area you live in).
DrivewayExpert - 9-Mar-17 @ 2:26 PM
Hi! We have just made an offer on a house which does not currently have off road parking but does have a front garden. The garden is raised possibly 3.5 feet above the road level as the house is on a hill. How likely is it that we would get permission to turn the front garden in to a drive? And at what point would it encroach on the foundations of the house? There could possibly still be 2-3feet of ground before the drop down to the drive. Thanks!
HeidiC - 8-Mar-17 @ 12:41 PM
Hi we are wanting to tarmac our driveway and are in the process of getting permission from council. To the left of our house Is a shared lane and drop kerb for shared access with our neighbour which we are also getting permission to extend. They have informed us that we need to be responsible for the water to drain away as the Tarmac obviously isn't permeable. What would be the best way to do this? They mentioned a grid and gravel trap? Ideally we need the whole area tarmacced as we have two vehicles including a long wheel based van. Thanks in advance
Rose - 7-Mar-17 @ 6:52 PM
Hi, I would like some advice please. We currently have a shared driveway and are looking to replace our small front garden with a private driveway which is on a slope running down from the house. I have been informed that we are unable to use permeable materials due to the slope we are on therefore require a soak away. Do we need permission to install a soak away? And is there regulations of how deep we can dig as there would be a lot of soil to remove to build a soak away.
boycie - 4-Mar-17 @ 12:13 PM
Emily - Your Question:
Hi, I'm looking to change the layout of my driveway which means relocating the entrance! There are no kerbs just grass/muddy edge and conifers which are ours and we want to take them out to make way for the new entrance. Do I need permission if the land is ours and there are no kerbs? It goes straight onto the road. ThanksEmily

Our Response:
Yes you always need permission if you intend to create a new access point onto the highway.
DrivewayExpert - 1-Mar-17 @ 12:41 PM
Hi, I'm looking to change the layout of my driveway which means relocating the entrance! There are no kerbs just grass/muddy edge and conifers which are ours and we want to take them out to make way for the new entrance. Do I need permission if the land is ours and there are no kerbs? It goes straight onto the road. Thanks Emily
Emily - 27-Feb-17 @ 8:15 PM
Hi, I've recently moved into a new home in a culdesac. The last 5 houses including ours is on a shared access drivewayand there is no turning point. To get out we have to reverse all the way out street. Is this acceptable and are there no regulations for this. Plans did not show no room to turn. Thanks
jessy - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:42 PM
danhaz - Your Question:
Hi My car scrapes the slope of my driveway if I reverse my car into the driveway !! Are there any regulations that govern the angle of the driveway or steepness/length of slope etc.RegardsDan

Our Response:
Most local authorities will refuse a planning application for a new driveway or a driveway on a new development, if gradients are greater than 7%. It is usually recommended that the first 6m should not be steeper than 5% to avoid the problem of cars grounding when using a private drive.
DrivewayExpert - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:42 AM
Jules - Your Question:
I live in a small private lane of 6 semi- detached Victorian houses, with hedged double parking spaces opposite the row of houses, which can be adopted by the residents. A neighbour has recently improved the drainage on his parking lot, with gravel inside geogrids, but added lots of square lights to light up his space, which stay on all night, removed a hedge which was screening his vehicles, so that we can now see all his building rubbish and a shed. He has also put geogrids and gravel outside his front door, and is parking a small third car on this tiny space, which partially extends back beyond front line of house. The narrow unmade up road in front of the houses is common to all residents. The streetscape of 120 years has thus been changed dramatically, and feels like a cross between a parking lot and an airport runway ! Is this permitted development ??

Our Response:
Check with your planning department to establish whether there are any conditions in place regarding your road. In general, planning permission is required to put in a driveway for parking, where none existed before.
DrivewayExpert - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:32 AM
Hi My car scrapes the slope of my driveway if I reverse my car into the driveway !! Are there any regulations that govern the angle of the driveway or steepness/length of slope etc . Regards Dan
danhaz - 3-Feb-17 @ 4:46 PM
I live in a small private lane of 6 semi- detached Victorian houses, with hedged double parking spaces opposite the row of houses, which can be adopted by the residents. A neighbour has recently improved the drainage on his parking lot, with gravel inside geogrids, but added lots of square lights to light up his space, which stay on all night, removed a hedge which was screening his vehicles, so that we can now see all his building rubbish and a shed. He has also put geogrids and gravel outside his front door, and is parking a small third car on this tiny space, which partially extends back beyond front line of house. The narrow unmade up road in front of the houses is common to all residents. The streetscape of 120 years has thus been changed dramatically, and feels like a cross between a parking lot and an airport runway !Is this permitted development ??
Jules - 3-Feb-17 @ 12:52 AM
Hi. I need some advice. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac & we have just gotten new neighbour's. We have previously had issues with our old neighbour of parking on our driveway, and the new neighbour has done the same, because it's the end of a cul-de-sac unfortunately the boundaries of our property are not particularly clear to visitors, although common sense would prevail, if people had any. Anyway, we heard from our neighbour opposite that our new next door neighbour are planning to extend their driveway to allow for additional parking for their guests, BUT their garden overlaps our driveway (because of its awkward layout), if we have guests, they park at the top of our driveway, where next doors garden overlaps, if they do extend their drive, it will mean our guests can't park at the top of our driveway, or if they do, they will be blocking in next doors cars (if that makes sense). What rights do we have, and can we oppose the extension of their driveway over our land? (It would be so much easier to show you a picture than having the explain)
Bart - 25-Jan-17 @ 11:59 PM
Hi could you give me some advice as to whether you would need to get permission to put a drive in your property that is off of a drive that we also own from the road. Many thanks jab
Jab - 24-Jan-17 @ 8:54 AM
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