With the recent announcement by the Government that from Wednesday 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights for domestic front gardens has been changed. The UK’s leading hard landscaping company, Marshalls plc, has welcomed the balanced approach set out in the changes.
A document helping the householder understand the legislation released by Communities & Local Government and Environment Agency called ‘Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens’, outlines the new directive:
‘From 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front garden for hardstanding without planning permission have 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 watercourses.
If a new driveway or parking area is constructed using permeable surfaces such as permeable concrete block paving, porous asphalt or gravel, 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 5 square metres in area.’
Chris Harrop, group marketing director, Marshalls, says: “The introduction of Permeable paving to domestic front gardens is a very important development in the battle against extreme weather conditions driven by climate change. Marshalls are fully supportive of the move towards the use permeable paving and have an extensive range of products available..
“However we are pleased to see that the Government has recognised that permeable paving is not suitable for all driveways for example those that slope towards the house or for all areas of the country, due to the differing nature of the UK’s ground conditions especially those with very heavy clay or where the land lies below the water table.
“We think the decision to still utilise impermeable concrete block paving materials, providing that adequate provision is made for run off water to be channelled to soakaways, or a rain garden within the property boundary is a well thought out and is a considered move to providing a sustainable solution. Marshalls has introduced a range of domestic drainage options available to its Register Members to assist with such projects.
“In essence we believe this kind of development is about good garden design using hard and soft landscaping materials that meet the requirements of the legislation, considers all environmental issues and successfully deliver well designed spaces that meet the customers’ requirements.”
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