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Guide to Turning Your Front Garden into a Driveway

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It’s a question that crops up a lot, and it’s because space is at a premium in the UK, especially for growing families. We’re at a stage where homeowners want to make sure they utilise the space they have, so if you have one or two vehicles, it makes sense to consider swapping your garden lawn for a driveway. You’ll be adding value to your home at the same time. Cars parked on a driveway are also more secure – so there are fewer concerns regarding theft and damage, such as broken wing mirrors or someone jacking up your car to steel your catalytic converter (sadly, this is rife in the UK right now). But with any improvement to your home such as this, the first question homeowners often face is, do I need planning permission?

The short answer is no, you do not need planning permission to turn your front garden into a driveway, however, there are some considerations that ought to be taken into account:

Double wooden driveway gates

Do you have enough width?

Depending on how many cars you wish to park, it is important to consider if the amount of space you have is feasible. You may need to remove a front boundary wall or some obstructive trees to enable your vehicle to enter and exit the driveway safely.

The surface of your new driveway must be permeable

The surface of your new driveway, regardless of the size, must be permeable to enable rainwater to drain through into the soil. This is especially important, especially for those living in urban areas, where flooding is more likely to occur. Concrete block paving, porous asphalt, resin or gravel are some of the most recommended options for a new driveway.

Although, planning permission will be required if the surface being covered is more than 5 metres squared using a non-permeable material. The fee can vary depending where you live, but can cost you up to £200 on average and will take around 8 weeks to complete.

Are you dropping kerbs in order to create a driveway?

If you need to drop the kerb on the pavement in order for your vehicle to gain easier access to the road, you will require planning permission from the council. If you are granted permission, the council will assign a contractor to do the necessary work whilst ensuring public safety and protecting any underground services such as water pipes. Failure to obtain planning permission could result in a hefty fine of up to £1,000. If you live in a built up area with a busy road or live opposite a bus stop, be prepared your application may be denied.

Do you live in a conservation area or listed building?

If you live in a conservation area or listed building, it is possible you may encounter a few obstacles along the way - so it is important you do your homework beforehand. You must adhere to the listing’s regulations to ensure the driveway is in keeping with the style and architectural features of not only your property, but also those around it. If you need to remove a front boundary wall or mature trees in order to create the opening of your driveway, you may require consent, especially if the front wall is higher than one metre.

Transforming your front garden into a driveway has the potential to significantly increase the value of your property, making it a worthwhile investment when done right. It’s important to note that whilst these rules apply to standard homes, the rules and regulations may differ for those living in a maisonette or converted house. So if you’re contemplating renovating your front garden into a driveway, be sure to seek advice from your local council to ensure you’re adhering to the laws applicable to your property type and avoid any unexpected fees in the process.

Here at Garden Gates Direct, we have an extensive range of metal, wood and aluminium garden driveway gates in hundreds of designs and sizes to choose from. Should you have any questions, give us a call on 0844 804 5577 or send us an email at