Did you know that planning permission may be needed if you want to surface your front garden?
The Parish Council’s Planning Committee have been investigating the issue of the surfacing of front gardens following concerns being raised by a local resident. The main concern was that surfacing of front gardens with an impermeable (non-porous) material could contribute to local flooding due to increased run-off of rainwater. If however the run off went to a soak away on the property or a permeable material, such as gravel, was used, this would allow natural drainage into the ground, would not contribute to possible local flooding or result in water flowing over the adjoining pavement. Aesthetic concerns were also raised as extensive surfacing of front gardens, especially using material out of keeping with the house, could spoil the overall appearance of the road.
Planners at Bromsgrove District Council were contacted about this who confirmed the necessity of obtaining planning permission if a householder wanted to surface an area of over 5m2 (approximately 6 square yards) and that the main consideration in assessing such an application was the flooding implications.
Planning permission is not needed if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable surfacing, such as gravel, permeable concrete or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.
Planning Committee thought it would be helpful if local residents were aware of these issues, the relevant legislation and the availability of free guidance on the Government’s website. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permeable-surfacing-of-front-gardens-guidance
This guidance leaflet, as well as explaining the legislation, also explains the different ways you can construct a driveway or other paved area that controls and reduces rainfall runoff into drains by using permeable surfaces. It is not overly technical and could be useful for anyone thinking of carrying out such work; even it doesn’t need planning permission.