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Can I Turn My Front Lawn into a Driveway? – Complete UK Guide

Turning your front garden into a parking space is an excellent way to add kerb appeal and increase the value of your property. In fact, estate agents say it can sometimes make or break a sale, especially if there isn’t much off-street parking in the area.

So if you are wondering, can I turn my front lawn into a driveway? The answer is yes. However, there are certain things to take into consideration before you begin and one of the main questions is; do I need planning permission for a driveway? It’s also important to know the cost, and the expense of installation in the UK, so you don’t get hit with any extra hidden expense later down the line.

In this article, we’ll cover when your new driveway may require planning permission from the local authority, how it will affect your driveway conversion costs and dropping kerbs on the pavement.

Do I Need Planning Permission for Converting Front Garden to Driveway?

In most cases, you do not require planning permission to convert your front garden into off-street parking as long as you use permeable surface material. Whether you have one car or several, front gardens can be paved, gravelled or resin bound to improve the kerb appeal of your property and provide secure parking for your vehicles.

What Circumstances Do I Need Planning Permission from the Local Council?

Impermeable driveways

Suppose you are turning your front garden into a driveway over 5 square metres and you are not using a permeable material that allows rainwater to drain naturally. In that case, you will need to obtain permission from your local council.

This is because in urban areas, there are more hard surfaces and the rain flows straight into drainage systems which can cause flooding. Permeable surfaces on driveways enable excess water to flow back into the ground, so choose materials like permeable concrete block paving, porous asphalt or resin to comply with driveway drainage regulations.

Do you have enough width?

You may need to get rid of a front boundary wall or even trees to have enough space for your car to enter and leave the driveway safely. If you live in a conservation area, you can remove the front garden boundary wall as long as it is less than a metre high, above that and once again, you would need to make an application to the council. If you need more information, find out how wide should a driveway be in the UK with this guide. Whether it’s for a single car or double, we cover all aspects of the width of a driveway.

Is there an Article 4 direction in place?

An article 4 direction is a restriction that overrides your permitted development rights; when an article 4 is in place, developments that generally don’t need planning permission may do so (this usually is in conservation areas) so check with your local authority.

Find out more about planning permission.

Do I Need a Dropped Kerb?

If you are turning your front garden into a driveway, you may need access to your property across the footpath; this is achieved by dropping the kerb. Ensure that permission is obtained from the local council, as you could be liable to a hefty fine if you install a dropped kerb without permission.

The cost of a dropped kerb in the UK can vary depending on where you live. Planning permission prices range between £100-£250, but there may also be other fees such as street work licenses which average around £430 per project.

Some councils allow you to choose your own contractor once planning permission has been granted. Whereas others have a list of pre-approved contractors that can do the job

The pavement and kerbs may need strengthening to protect any services buried underneath, such as water pipes, street furniture, or trees may need to be removed and this will see costs soar. If a 3rd party or agency is involved, you will usually need to cover their costs, so it’s essential to look into this before beginning the garden project to gauge an estimate for your budget.

Not all planning permissions for a dropped kerb are granted; if you live in a conservation area, on a corner, if the proposed drop kerb is on a busy road or opposite a bus stop, then permission for your vehicle crossover may be denied.

FAQ’S

What happens if I drop a kerb without permission?

If you install a dropped kerb without approval, you may incur a fine of up to a £1000

Do I need building regs for a driveway?

In most cases, no, as long as you are not making accessibility to your front garden harder than before or installing a dropped kerb.

Will a driveway increase home value?

In many cases, yes, it does, especially if there isn’t adequate off-street parking, some estate agents estimate this can be between 5-10%. View this article on does a new driveway add value to a house in order to get a full picture of what a home could be worth after the driveway installation. Does the extra value outway the upfront cost, these are questions we answer.

Last Word

Turning front gardens into a parking area for a standard vehicle can increase your property’s value. Usually, front garden parking planning permission is pretty straightforward, as long as it’s not a hard standing surface. Even then, it should be OK if you install the correct drainage and water flows into the lawn or a permeable area on your property.

Suppose you need to drop the kerb on the pavement to provide access to your parking area. In that case, you will require approval from your local authority and this could see the initial cost of building your own driveway increase significantly.

While the above rules only refer to converting a house driveway, maisonettes or converted houses may operate under different guidelines.

For those looking at paving front gardens, Bark.com can connect you with professional tradespeople in your area that will get the job done!