Driveways & Off-Street Parking In London & Surrey

Beautifully designed driveways and off street parking can withstand the test of time, and the creation of a driveway or off street parking may not only enhance the kerb appeal of your home, but may also add value, especially with the high demand for parking, particularly in the London area. Furthermore, with the majority of families now owning more than one car, and the insurance savings possible from keeping your car off a public road, the desire for a usable driveway or off-street parking has never been greater.

We give careful consideration to the style and age of your property, the level of vehicular usage and the aesthetical impact before making suggestions, but more importantly, we spend time ensuring that the driveways and hard standing areas we install are constructed on properly constructed sub-bases, so they’ll remain beautiful and level in years to come. The inclusion of subtle lighting, or patterns laid into the surface can provide the finishing touches to a feature that could well increase the value of your property.

Increasingly home owners are converting parts of their front gardens to hard surfaces such as driveways, paving slabs or tarmac driveways to provide for off street parking; they’re also very low maintenance. However, such hard surfaces can increase surface water run off by up to 50% resulting in an increased volume of water draining in the Local Authority drainage systems. Sometimes the drains can’t cope with the increased demands in times of heavy rainfall leading to localised flooding, such as in 2007 when flooding made the news as extensive damage.

Since October 2008, a householder in England wishing to replace or create a hard standing area of front garden greater than 5sq/m in size must seek planning approval from their Local Authority. The objectives of the legislation is to encourage the use of permeable surfaces, reduce surface water run off and the strains on drainage systems, and to reduce the impact that hard surfaces have on ecosystems. However, permeable hard standing areas imitate natural drainage systems thus helping to sustain the natural environment.

“Greater permeability through permeable surfacing should increase soil moisture levels, benefiting street trees and carbon absorption levels”
(Source: Department for Communities & Local Government 2008)

The new legislation allows certain surfaces to be laid without seeking planning approval, such as permeable paving blocks and paving slabs and other solutions such as porous asphalt and gravel underlaid with a porous sub-base and membrane. Permeable paving blocks for driveways and hard standing areas such as an off street parking space, are laid on an open grade sub-base designed to allow excess water to naturally drain through the sub-soil and into ground below. Of course, you can still install a non-permeable driveway surface as long as the run-off water drains within the curtilage of your property. For a non-permeable driveway, a planning application must be submitted to your Local Authority, however, there’s no cause for alarm. The vast majority of driveways can be constructed with permeable materials and do not require planning permission. Contact us for your driveway or off street parking requirements in London and Surrey.