Frequently asked questions

Fantastic driveways by South West Driveways

Please browse through this list of questions we are frequently asked about the installation of driveways and patios. If there is something you would like to ask that is not in the list, please click here to ask us the question. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Do I need planning permission?

Not necessarily. You will not need planning permission if your new driveway uses permeable or porous surfacing which allows water to drain through. This includes 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 covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater running off. If you want to know more, have a look at the UK government’s website

Will drainage be a problem?

Drainage is a serious issue and many cowboy driveway fitters will get it wrong. When we install a driveway or patio we take into account where the rainwater will go and install a soakaway if necessary.

What is SUDS legislation and what does it mean for my driveway or patio installation?

SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system), is UK legislation on how rainwater is dealt with as it falls on a newly installed driveway or patio surface. It is therefore vitally important that anyone considering laying a driveway or patio considers run-off or works with a company that is practised in complying with SUDS legislation.

Sustainable urban drainage systems handle the issue of water run-off and drainage in a more environmentally-sensitive, sustainable way than conventional drainage methods that can contribute to flooding and water pollution. Lawns, beds and soakaway drainage systems and surfaces that allow water to drain through to the earth such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving and porous asphalt are all considered to be SUDS.

Legislation concerning SUDS was introduced in 2008, stating that all new and replacement paving and surfacing over five square metres should either be made of porous materials or should direct run-off water to a porous area or surface nearby. Depending on the material you choose for your new driveway or patio, we may install a soakaway or rain-garden to ensure that your installation meets these regulations.

What if my neighbours object?

Neighbourhood relations can be a tricky issue. Most neighbours we encounter are only too happy to see a nearby property being improved because they appreciate the knock-on effect it has on the value of house prices in the area as a whole. Regardless of your legal rights and permissions, we always advise that you talk to any neighbours you think are likely to feel affected by your new driveway or patio. Don’t forget you have to live adjacent to them when your installation is complete.

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