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Brett urges education on driveway issues

Householders have no idea that they may require planning permission to pave over their driveways, according to new research commissioned by Brett Landscaping.
The YouGov survey of 2,280 GB adults, reports that less than 1 in 10 respondents (8%) have noticed any press stories on regulations which came into force one year ago stipulating that homeowners can no longer create or replace their driveways without considering whether planning permission may be required.

Brett Landscaping is calling for greater education of the householder. Bob Deller said: “Clearly more needs to be done to educate homeowners about their responsibilities and their options if they are planning work at the front of their properties.

“It is the responsibility of the homeowner to assess whether they need planning permission. However, if homeowners are not aware of the regulations, there is a strong possibility that many new driveways and front garden paving installed in the last year may not be legal, especially if the homeowner has done the installation themselves. There may also be ramifications for people selling houses if they feature new driveways which do not meet the new regulations.”

The regulations were introduced in October 2008 to help alleviate the risk of flooding and pollution of water courses. Some 5 million people live in high flood risk areas in the UK and during the floods which hit in the summer of 2007, over 57,000 homes were affected at an estimated £3bn in damage. The Environment Agency estimates that up to two-thirds of the floods were caused by surface water runoff overloading the drainage system.

Allowable options which do not require planning permission come under the wider category of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS), which provide surface water management that replicates natural drainage patterns. These include designs which take water away from sewers and drains, or permeable paving systems which let surface water drain straight into the ground.

Further information on the new legislation is available online at:


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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