What you need to know about driveways

A recent survey by a leading insurance company has revealed that a quarter of homeowners in the UK have transformed their front garden into a driveway, indicating that additional off-road parking takes precedence over outdoor spaces for many homeowners. However, there are certain factors to be aware of when turning greenery into driveways. In this article, we’ll highlight the main points for you.

Do driveways in St Albans require planning permission?

There is a simple rule to planning permission regarding driveways in the UK. The government introduced soakaway regulations in 2009, requiring homeowners to seek planning permission for any area more than five metres squared that they intend to pave using a non-permeable material. However, there are ways to install a driveway using both permeable and non-permeable materials that don’t need planning permission.

Consider a permeable driveway covering

If you use a porous material, then you won’t need planning permission regardless of the size of the area you’re paving. Permeable materials like gravel or block paving allow rainwater to soak into the soil below and reduce the risk of overwhelming the storm drain.

Find ways to help rainwater drain away

It’s fine to use non-permeable materials such as concrete, as it negates the need for planning permission if the design of the driveway diverts rainwater to a nearby garden or soakaway. However, to use a rain garden, you might need to look at only partially paving your driveway.

Store rainwater

Use a water butt to collect rainwater to further limit the risk of flash flooding, and the storm drains become submerged.

Assess your flood risk

Finally, even if you’ve never experienced local flooding, checking your flood risk with the Environment Agency before embarking on a new driveway is sensible. Contact our team today if you own a home in St Albans and want more advice about transforming your garden into off-road parking.