Planning Permission and Regulations for Block Paving Driveways

From 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front garden for hardstanding without planning permission changed. Planning permission is now required to lay traditional impermeable driveways that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater from front gardens onto roads, because this can contribute to flooding and pollution of water courses.

If a new driveway or parking area is constructed using permeable surfaces, such as permeable concrete block paving, or if the water is otherwise able to soak into the ground you will not require planning permission. The new rules will also apply where existing hardstandings are being replaced. The new rules apply to hard surfaces exceeding 5m²

Achieving a well balanced driveway design within the guidelines of the legislation need not be complicated. You simply need to decide how you would like to manage the rainwater that lands on your driveway. If your planned driveway exceeds 5m² you have three options available to you:

Option 1: Direct rainwater to a flower bed or another area of the garden which has been designed to allow water to drain away.


This is the most common option taken and involves using linear drainage systems or a driveway channel. It may also involve installing a soakaway underneath part of your lawn. The size of soakaway required will vary depending on a number of factors. South East Landscape Construction Ltd can handle all aspects of assessing the requirements needed and installing the necessary drainage systems to ensure your driveway is fully compliant with the latest legislation.

With this option you have access to the full range of block paving currently on the market.

Option 2: Use permeable paving to allow water to filter through the driveway and drain harmlessly away in the ground below


Permeable paving allows surface water to pass between the blocks into a specially calculated sub-base, which allows the water to drain away in a slow and measured way

Option 3: Do not make any provision for the rain water that falls on your driveway


To obtain the necessary planning permission you will need to contact your local planning department. There is a fee (usually around £150) to submit a planning application and can take around 8 weeks for a decision to be made. South East Landscape Construction Ltd will not offer advice on seeking planning permission or submit an application on your behalf.