If you are planning to construct a brand new driveway, it is best to know beforehand if you require permission for planning your driveway or not! Driveways are normally built by using durable and sturdy materials to have the capacity to endure rough weather conditions, weight of vehicles, and frequent footsteps. Hence, the need for repairing a driveway is a common occurrence. On the other hand, you may not really possess a driveway right now, and may plan to build a new one. In any case, driveway planning permission may be needed, and you need to be sure about whether you actually need it or not.
Why should you obtain planning permission?
Over the years, the level of rainfall has enhanced in the UK, and since most drains were built without any consideration for large amount of water, flood has become a common occurrence. The issue becomes more intense when areas are covered using materials that cannot absorb water. Hence, there are rules regarding what materials one can use while constructing a driveway.
Planning permission is almost inescapable when you stay in a World Heritage Site, National Park Area, Conservation Region, Outstanding National Beauty Area or Listed Building.
Note that if you do not want to obtain permission, you can do it simply by selecting materials that are permeable and porous in order to decrease flood-risk by letting the water go into the ground without any issue.
The following materials are your best bet:
Using gravel is inexpensive and straightforward. With the use of loose gravel into the driveway sub-base, water can reach the ground with the help of cracks. There are attractive gravels that come in different sizes, colours and ranges. However, gravel may require to be topped up from time to time.
This option is normally costly, but the maintenance is easy, and is very lasting. Be sure to choose asphalt made to respect planning rules though.
Special permeable blocks or slabs of concrete are great for building stylish driveways. You will have access to a lot of patterns, colours and shapes. This option is lasting too.
While choosing clay, make sure that the variety has enough permeability to pass planning rules. Since clay is totally natural, and its colour lasts longer than concrete, there are attractive options available with different shapes and colours.
In case you are determined to use materials which are non-permeable, such as normal clay, asphalt, or concrete, you will require planning permission. The reason is that such materials not only enhance flood, but also absorb harmful chemical compounds like oil and petrol, and pollute water bodies. Note that you may not need permission if you create a permeable region for water to get absorbed, mostly called soakaways or rain gardens.
To make rain garden, you can construct a dip near your driveway or at a low region of the garden so that the water coming from the hard surface is collected there to get soaked. To enhance soaking capability, you can use gravel or plants in the dip. To create soakaway, you need to connect a pipe with a container that lets water get absorbed into the ground.
If you create two non-permeable tracks of width 300mm to 600mm for just letting the car wheels move, by allowing grass or gravel between the tracks to let water get absorbed, you will not need permission.
Paving Different Areas
If paving over some area that is not front garden is your plan, then no rules exist to oppose that. But if you want to build terrace or banking for supporting those paved regions, you should find out if you actually need planning permission or not. At all costs, do not violate any regulation while building driveways or paving areas in your property.