New Government planning legislation

Department for Communities and Local Government, guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens. “On 1 October 2008, the Government introduced changes to the General Permitted Development Order, making the hard surfacing of more than five square metres of domestic front gardens permitted development only where the surface in question is rendered permeable. Use of traditional materials, such as impermeable concrete, where there was no facility in place to ensure permeability, requires an application for planning permission.”

   Planning permission NOT required   

If the area of hard surface is constructed using a permeable product there is no limit to size in this case. Standard impermeable paving can be used if provision is made for rainwater from traditional impermeable hard landscaping to drain into a soft landscape such as grass or border planting with sufficient permeability, or into a specially constructed soakaway. If the area of hard surface intended is less than 5 square metres. The new legislation only affects front garden areas. Elsewhere around the house there are no restrictions on hard surfaces at or near ground level.

   Planning permission IS required   

If rainwater from the impermeable hard surface at ground level has nowhere to run other than into the household drainage system or on to the public highway. If the property intended for work is a listed building. Conservation areas, World Heritage sites, National Parks and Areas of outstanding natural beauty may have some restricted permitted development rights for householders. Better to enquire in advance in such circumstances. It is the homeowners’ responsibility to apply for planning permission.

Marshalls and Brett have a wide range of products both permeable and impermeable. Both types, with expert installation, will avoid the need for planning permission for most front gardens.

More Information

For more information visit the Department for Communities and Local Government website at the following link: Permeable surfacing of front gardens: guidance


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