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    CD Designs Blog

    Widen Your Driveway With Ease

    There are many reasons why you might want to widen an existing driveway: Perhaps it just needs an aesthetic facelift? Or more likely, you might want to widen it to fit more vehicles.

    Before*

    Widen Your Driveway Entrance

    There are a few things to keep in mind when attempting this:

    First of all you need to make sure that you choose suitable materials for the widened path and resulting altered fences/walls. Try to make sure they fit in with what is already there as well as possible. You should make sure that the supporting form material is packed solid, and taken up to just below the existing driveway level. Also, cut joints in the new area every 30 inches or so, to reduce the risk of cracking due to shrinkage.

    A final big consideration is the dropped kerb going down to the road outside your house. The odds are you’ll want to widen or move an existing dropped kerb, or put in a new one, and to sort this out you need to speak to your council planning department. To find their contact details do a search on your favourite search engine for “[YOUR AREA NAME] council planning”. You’ll need to talk to them to get the relevant application form to fill in. Once this is submitted, they need to approve and give planning permission, and then you need to pay to get the dropped kerb work done, either by the council or by an independent building company.

    Image – This photo is from one of our case studies.

    Permeable Surfaces In Front Gardens.

    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.

    Do I need planning permission for a new driveway?

    There are a lot of things to consider when you’re planning home improvements, especially if it’s a relatively big project. After you’ve come up with some design ideas and researched contractors, you need to put some thought into issues like planning permission.

    Since 2008, projects like installing a new driveway have been considered as – usually – exempt from requiring planning permission. However, there may be issues you’re not aware of related to the classification of your property, or concerning exactly what dimensions your driveway can take up. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you should make sure that you’re 100% clear about any such conditions affecting your property.

    There’s some general information on this website. If you need more information on planning permission specific to your local area, you’ll need to contact your local council’s planning department. It’s more than likely that it won’t be an issue, but there could be some unfortunate repercussions if you go ahead with a project that later turns out to be illegal.

    This online planning portal should help you find out what planning restrictions might apply to you. Remember that planning permission applications cost, and that this fee should be taken into consideration when you’re adding up the overall expense of the project.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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