Garden Notes

Using planting to enhance a driveway

Published on 1 February 2009

Are you thinking of resurfacing your drive this winter? If you look around, most houses with drives look like a car park, where the hard landscaping takes priority and the car dominates. This is a missed opportunity to make the best of your house.

It’s shame that people tend to think of having a drive OR a front garden, when with a good design you should be able to have both.

Stone drivewaySince October 2008 it has become necessary in most areas to obtain planning permission for the replacement or surfacing of a new drive over 5 square metres. This is to ensure that either permeable surfaces are used, or where permission for impermeable surfaces is given, that there are suitable drainage systems around the drive to collect and channel the water so that it does not run off into the road and main drains. This legislation addresses the problem of overloading of the main drains.

Planting areas around a driveway fulfil many functions. They soften the outline of the house and drive, they provide important wildlife sites and now, with the change in legislation, planting areas also play an important role in absorbing run off from the driveway.

There are many new products and drainage systems that meet the new planning requirements which allow you to have an attractive drive, but you do need expert advice about what you can use.

Designers and customers have seen this as an opportunity to be creative about the style and elements of their front garden to include, water features, attractive bin stores, seating areas etc.

I’m hoping that front drives can be re-invented as gardens. The challenge is on, could your front garden have a car in it and still be the most attractive in the street?

For further information:
Visit the Communities website and check with your local authority planning department.

Happy gardening

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