CD Designs Blog
Deciding to resurface or extend your driveway with pattern imprinted concrete requires quite a bit of planning. It’s not the kind of thing you want to rush into; if you don’t find a good contractor who can work within your budget, you risk ending up with a shoddy driveway. And since 2008 there’s been a new factor to take into account; government legislation from The Environment Agency regarding the use of impermeable surfaces in domestic front gardens.
Impermeable surfaces don’t absorb water or allow it to travel through them and into the ground. Untreated concrete is porous and permeable. Once your pattern imprinted concrete driveway has been sealed, however, it won’t be. That’s one of the main reasons why we seal it – to minimise potential damage through water and water-related issues.
The most important part of the Environment Agency’s legislation is this: any area of impermeable surface over 5m² requires planning permission.
The hassle (and the cost) of applying for planning permission can be avoided if the design of your pattern imprinted concrete driveway meets a few requirements. These requirements compensate for the fact that the surface is impermeable.
The main issue is drainage. Provided that your pattern imprinted driveway has some form of drainage that removes water from its surface, it should be exempt. As long as, and this is important, any water goes to dedicated drainage. That means that you can’t slope your driveway so water will run off onto a public highway, or have water from your pattern imprinted concrete driveway running into your household drains.
During our design consultation with you, we’ll address all of these issues, and explain in more detail how (if at all) the legislation will affect your driveway. We’re dab hands at drainage, so if your project requires it, we can supply it. And remember; if the surface area is less than 5m², the legislation shouldn’t affect you.
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4th May 2010