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Do I Need Planning Permission for a New Driveway?

December 24, 2021 4:44 pm Published by

There are many reasons you might be considering a new driveway for your property. 

For example, if you’ve put a lot of effort into keeping the exterior of your house looking nice, the last thing you want is for a tired old driveway to reduce your kerb appeal.

On the other hand, you might currently have a garden at the front of your property that you’re looking to make more use of. Somewhere to park your car, perhaps? It’ll make parking on a busy street easier and will probably even reduce the amount of gardening you have to do. 

Or, you might already have a driveway but are looking to extend it. Whatever the reason, the question you’ll be faced with is ‘do I need planning permission for a new driveway?’. The answer to this and more can be found below in our handy new article.

When you will need planning permission for a new driveway

Planning permission for driveways at the front of your house can be tricky, but there are several key instances where you will definitely need planning permission. 

  • If it’s more than five square metres – If you intend to have a driveway of more than five square metres, you’ll need to get planning permission simply because of the size. This links in with the next reason, too.
  • You intend to use non-permeable material – Changing your garden from an area that soaks up rainwater into a non-permeable surface means planning permission is needed. That’s because rainwater will simply run off and into nearby storm drains, and it only takes a handful of properties in your area to overwhelm these systems if large patches of land suddenly stop soaking up the rain. Non-porous materials include things like slate and non-porous block paving.
  • If you have a listed building – As with any alterations, if you have a listed building, you have to be very careful not to change too much, too drastically. This means planning permission is usually needed. Your property may also have Article 4 directions – something worth checking up on before you even start to plan a new driveway.
  • When you alter visibility on your road – Something you may not think about when renovating the front of your property is how it impacts the road. In many situations, simply paving your driveway where there was once a lawn might not cause too much trouble, but if you take down or put up any structures such as walls, fences or trees then you’re altering visibility both for you and for oncoming traffic. If the changes you intend to make do change the situation, then you can expect to need planning permission. We’ll cover the impact of dropping the kerb later on in this piece, too.

It might seem picky, but there are good reasons why these situations require more thought. From the safety of road users to the impact on flood defences, your property alterations have to be taken into account as part of a whole.

When you won’t need planning permission for a new driveway

Now you know why you need planning permission, here are a couple of tips for situations where you won’t need it. Sometimes, you simply won’t be able to avoid the need for planning permission, but it’s good to know in any case.

  • When you use permeable materials – Because permeable materials allow water to soak through to the ground below, you avoid the need for planning permission when it comes to environmental factors. Gravel, aggregates and permeable block paving are popular for this reason.
  • When your driveway is less than five square metres – If you are creating a driveway that is less than five square metres then you’re unlikely to be having much of an impact on the environment, even if you’re using a hardstanding material, so you won’t need planning permission in this scenario.
  • Where there is a natural way for water to drain away – Clearly, adequate drainage is a key factor in planning permission for driveways. If your driveway drains off into a natural drain or lawn border, instead of into the road, then you may be able to avoid the need for planning permission. This is usually only for driveways that slope towards the garden or other border, but the fronts of most properties will slope towards the road – something you can’t usually help. 

New access – dropped kerbs

One more thing to consider when you’re converting your lawn or extending your current driveway is the kerb in front of your property. If you have a pavement in front of your property that you intend to cross with your car, then you’ll need to get permission to drop the kerb in that area – in some cases, the pavement itself may even require strengthening.

This is due to the damage that can be caused by your vehicle constantly mounting and dismounting the kerb, as well as potential damage to any important pipework or drainage that may be underneath this portion of the footway.

Driveways for flats and maisonettes

When we’re discussing driveways here, we’re talking about regular houses with a space out the front to convert into a driveway – or to extend an existing one. When it comes to flats and maisonettes, different rules apply that you will need to factor in.

Choose a reliable construction company

When it comes to driveways, we’ve all heard the horror stories about people who use passing cowboy builders – that’s why you need a local, reliable construction company. 

At Bosaco, we’re reputable builders in Nottingham and have worked throughout the region to provide a variety of building services – including driveway construction – to help enhance the exterior of many homes. If you’re keen to convert the front of your property into a driveway, but you’re still not sure about whether you’ll need planning permission, look no further than our trusty team of experienced builders.

Talk to us about your plans and find out more about converting or extending your driveway in Nottingham today. Simply contact our team and we’ll be happy to chat about any project, from property refurbishment to conversions, you may have in mind and help you navigate any planning permission requirements.

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