Building or extending a driveway is often considered permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, provided its meet all the necessary criteria and there are no constraints that restrict or remove permitted development rights. For driveways that are likely to fall within permitted development a lawful development certificate is recommended, so that you know your project is compliant and is protected from any retrospective planning issues, enforcements or penalties. It is important to note that permitted development allowances for driveways applies to houses but not to flats and maisonettes. All flats and houses will require full planning permission.
You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not provide for the water to run to a permeable area.
If you are making a new access into the garden across the footpath you will need to obtain permission from the local council to drop the kerb and the pavement may need strengthening. This is to protect any services buried in the ground such as water pipes. Also note that these rules only cover your front garden. Any other work such as fences, walls and gates or a dropped kerb may require planning permission. If there are any constraints that limit or remove permitted development rights or even one of these criteria is not met, then you are required to submit an application for planning permission.
If planning permission is required but the works are completed without first securing the proper planning approval you may face retrospective planning issues. If the local planning authority determine that planning permission was required an enforcement and or penalties may be issued. If planning permission cannot be secured retrospectively the driveway may need to be put back to its original state.
If you are in any doubt our expert planning consultants can help. By carrying out a planning appraisal we can advise you on whether planning permission is required, the feasibility, process, timescales, likelihood of success and answer any other questions that you have. Once we know exactly what is required for your project, we will provide you an accurate quote for us to help you.