As the Holy Grail of homeowners, planning permission for driveways is granted on a case by case basis, making it appear an elusive and unachievable goal for the vast majority.
Although a lengthy process, if you fall fail of the law, you’re looking at ongoing disputes, exorbitant fines and notices to rectify your driveway efforts at the earliest opportunity.
Forewarned is forearmed, and with a little Home Logic know-how, you can work your way around council driveway dictates with relative ease…
To make changes to an existing driveway, you will need to consult your local Council. They will provide you with both comprehensive information on permitted developments, as well as expert advice on the latest requirements.
At this stage, your local Council will also help you to discern whether a driveway planning application is required, and if so, the steps you need to take to achieve this.
In instances where prior planning is required, all applications are subject to strict and exacting standards.
Each individual application will be asked to provide a detailed run down of the location of the proposed driveway in question, as well as accurate dimensions and the associated construction plans to go with them. Indeed, proposals can be swiftly dismissed if the rigorous requirements of the council are not met.
Even in cases where no planning application is needed, your driveway will still need to be constructed to meet strict council standards.
As of the 1st of October, 2008, planning permission for driveways was introduced in response to several recurrent problems.
These factors include: increased car ownership (resulting in a higher incidence of garden to driveway conversions), higher density of housing stock (more homes equals greater demands for driveways) and also considerations regarding climate change, with localised flooding forcing homeowners to seek a more long-term driveway solution.
To combat this rising demand, the government introduced Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) legislation, meaning that those considering installing driveways made of impermeable materials (such as asphalt) require planning permission to do so.
Other reasons for requiring planning permission include:
-The property is a flat
-Construction work involves over 0.5 metres of earthworks
-The verge to the footway has grass over 2.5 metres wide
-The driveway leads out on to a classified public road
-The property is a listed building, or is situated in a conservation area
You should also note that if walls are also required, further stipulations will also need to be addressed and accounted for.
Landlords and/or Other Consents
In addition, landlords and other consents may be required. For further advice on this matter, it’s sensible to consult your solicitor.
They will be able to advise you on the latest regulations, and how your property can adhere to them during any proposed developments.
If your property is owned by the Council, the Council’s consent as landlord is mandatory before any renovation work can take place.
Paving with a Permeable Material Provides an Ideal Solution!
Planning permission still not granted? Consider paving with a permeable material.
Put simply, a permeable material is one which allows rainwater to drain away quickly and effectively. Both gravel and resin possess efficient drainage capacity.
You’ll also be pleased to know that planning permission is also unnecessary in cases where an adequate drainage solution has already been implemented to direct rainwater to a lawn or border, where it can easily drain away.
Alternatively, you can give your eco-credentials an extra boost by recycling rainwater, enabling it to collect and store in water butts. In Britain, we’re constantly deluged with rain, so if there’s a way to make use of it, then so much the better.
Unfortunately, as with most things, there are always a few minor exceptions, where permeability doesn’t outweigh planning permission requirements. These include:
-Paving over 5m squared.
-If your paved area has the potential to impede access to any surrounding properties.
Other Factors to Consider
Thinking about adding terracing to your newly paved garden as well? Contact your Council and Local Authority. Bombard them with questions and earn yourself some well-deserved Brownie points in the process.
When it comes to planning permission, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and in light of the fact that planning permission dictates change more regularly than British weather, asking your council questions makes a great deal of sense.
Appease them with your plans, discuss how your proposals will work in practice and, ultimately, show how you’ve accounted for the needs of your neighbours as well.
All in all, the more clear and concise the plan, the greater the likelihood you’ll be granted planning permission.