With parking space at a premium and busy lifestyles, many homeowners are opting to pave over their front gardens in order to create extra parking space, improve kerb appeal and create a space with much less maintenance. Having off-road parking and peace of mind that your car is in a safe place can help to reduce insurance premiums and can even add value to your home so it’s a worthwhile venture!
However, the growing popularity of driveways has created a cause for concern amongst environmental officials which led to the introductions of new regulations and legislation in 2008. Choosing to pave your driveway is a worthwhile but costly project so it’s important to plan very carefully and be aware of the materials and permissions you’re going to need. We’ve put a quick guide together to explain more and help you to plan your new front garden or driveway.
If you’re looking to pave your front garden, before you start, it’s important to check whether you need planning permission for your home. If you want to pave an area over five metres squared, you’re using impermeable materials or if your paved area is likely to affect access to the surrounding areas, you will need to apply for planning permission.
When using permeable materials (i.e. materials which will let the water permeate into the ground, reducing surface runoff and helping to protect against flooding) you will not usually need to get planning permission for the work but you should still check to make sure you can go ahead. York Stone is a variety of sandstone and is a highly permeable stone which means that it will absorb rainwater rather than allowing it to run straight off the surface. This makes York Stone an environmentally friendly material and perfect for use in your front garden.
In 2008, new driveway legislation was introduced after increased flooding in the UK. Environmental experts have found that as the UK becomes more densely populated and green spaces are reduced and replaced with hard, paved surfaces, which increases surface runoff when it rains. The water runs into our drainage systems which become overwhelmed because they are not designed to cope with the excess water.
In addition, the hard surfaces soak heat up during the day, releasing it into the surrounding air during the night. It is believed that this is contributing to global warming and is responsible for an increase in cloud cover and heavy storms, contributing to more flooding.
If you do decide to pave your front garden, there are many steps you can take to lessen the environmental impact and reduce the risk of flooding. As we mentioned above, a permeable paving stone will mean that rainwater is able to soak into the ground and won’t cause excess surface water to run into the drains and rivers.
A slight slope in the driveway will also allow water to drain away however, you must make sure that the water from your driveway won’t drain onto a public highway.
Choosing the materials for your driveway is also an important factor. Permeable materials are important but, due to the driveway needing to carry a heavy load, the materials should also be durable and long-lasting. With the driveway being at the front of your home, it should also be built with attractive materials to ensure good first impressions for visitors to your home.
We supply a wide range of York Stone which suits all of the above and is a great way to create an attractive and long-term driveway solution.