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Planning permission

Specific rules apply for householders wanting to pave over their front gardens.

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.

Read more about important issues to consider and more detailed practical advice in 'Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens' from Gov.uk1.

Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

  • Flats and maisonettes (view our guidance on flats and maisonettes2
  • Converted houses or houses created through the ‘permitted development’ rights for:
  • Other buildings
  • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights.

Also note that these rules only cover your front garden. Any other work such as fences, walls and gates4 or a dropped kerb may require planning permission. There are also different rules for patios and driveways that are not part of a front garden5.

A planning consultant may help with the smooth running of your project. To find an accurate consultancy quote, explore Studio Charrette's calculators6.

Dropping kerbs

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 kerbs and the pavement may need strengthening. This is to protect any services buried in the ground such as water pipes.

Getting your project done safely7

Find a Trade Professional

Use our partner directories from CIAT, FMB, RIBA, or RTPI to find an chartered architectural technologist, builder, architect or planning consultant to help with your project or development.

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Useful links

Make an application Project estimating service


Planning consultancy calculator Financing your project
    1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permeable-surfacing-of-front-gardens-guidance
    2. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/flats-and-maisonettes/introduction
    3. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/change-of-use/use-classes
    4. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/fences-gates-and-garden-walls
    5. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/patio-and-driveway
    6. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/home-improvement/planning-consultancy-calculator
    7. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/external-walls/getting-your-job-done-safely

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.