Aggregate Industries

October 31, 2012 07:30 ET

Guide to Driveway Legislation

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2012) - If you're thinking of landscaping your outdoor space, and are considering driveway paving then you'll need to be aware of the changes to planning laws and legislation. Aggregate Industries bring to you a comprehensive guide to driveway legislation.

What are the planning laws?

From 1st October 2008, rules were introduced for householders wanting to hard surface their front gardens. If you want to cover more than five square meters then you'll need planning permission for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater running off into roads. It applies to new driveways, drive extensions or drive replacements. You won't need planning permission if the surface is less than five square metres or if the surface is permeable or porous or if a traditional surface is laid and the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally, or if it is directed to a soakaway via a drainage channel.

What solutions are there which don't require planning permission?

There are lots of solutions available:

  • Permeable paving

  • Sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) or rainwater harvesting systems (RWH)

  • Porous asphalt

  • Gravel or a mainly green, vegetated area

  • Traditional hard surfaces with controlled run-off to your garden or lawn or to a purpose-built rain garden or soakaway.

Tell me more about permeable or porous surfaces!

The simplest solution is a surface layer of loose gravel over a driveway sub-base.

Hard surfacing which allows water to soak into it can be laid with concrete permeable paving or porous asphalt. They must be laid on top of a sub-base which allows water to be stored and pass through and unlike traditional hardcore.

You can use Bradstone Drainage, Bedding and Jointing Aggregates as a sub base for permeable paving.

What about natural drainage solutions?

Where appropriate, it may be possible simply to allow run-off into lawns and flower beds. Alternatively, you can direct run-off from your driveway to a depression in your garden to collect, store and slowly let rainwater soak into the ground or flow to the drains.

Soakaways are similar, except the water is piped into a gravel-filled trench and allowed to soak into the ground. They're more suitable for houses with larger front gardens because they require space and need to be located a suitable distance from buildings.

How about rainwater harvesting?

One way to reduce the risk of flooding, overcoming the need for planning consent, lessen your water demand by about a third and to save money on metered water supplies is to collect and reuse rainwater. This is known as rainwater harvesting. It will provide you with non-drinkable water for garden irrigation, car washing and toilet flushing.

Bradstone's system uses soft and hard surfaces to collect rainwater from your driveway (and your roof and patio, too). It filters out leaves and debris and stores it in a holding tank beneath the drive or patio. Water is then drawn off via a pump, as required.

Other factors that need to be considered:

  • Slopes - your driveway should be sloped away from your house towards the road. If the driveway slopes towards then use a drainage channel to collect any excess water and connect it to the drains that take the roof water.

  • Underground services - It's essential to make sure there are no underground services close to the ground surface where you'll be paving (e.g. water pipes, cable TV, electricity cables etc).

  • Contaminated sites - If you live on a site that was previously contaminated the shallow soils may have been specifically designed to prevent water from soaking into the ground. If so, you'll have to connect the paved area to the drains.

  • Soil type - the soil below your driveway must be sandy or gravelly (not clay) otherwise a connection to the drains may be required.

  • Connection to drains - the new regulations acknowledge circumstances and houses where it may be necessary to allow run-off drains, but this should be last option considered. It might need planning permission and therefore might not be permitted.

Where can I get more advice?

For further help and advice, call the Bradstone helpline on 01335 372289.

Notes to Editors

  • Aggregate Industries specialises in quarrying, manufacturing and supplying a wide range of heavy building materials to the construction industry.

  • Continued innovation and investment in all their practices has resulted in The Responsible Source certification and a diverse portfolio of sustainable solutions to all their business customers.

  • All the sustainable solutions are provided alongside their traditional product offering.

Contact Information

  • For further help and advice,
    call the Bradstone helpline on 01335 372289.