New guidance will help local authorities, landscape architects and other professionals interpret changes on sustainable drainage development.

Image from Permitted Paving - the Interpave guidance document
Image from Permitted Paving - the Interpave guidance document

As awareness of restrictions grow, says the organisation, ‘there are calls for the legality of recent paving to be covered in conveyancing pre-contract enquiries, home-buyers’ reports and valuations’.

For industrial, warehouse, office and shop premises, in permitted development, it explains, ‘rights have been taken away from new or replacement paving on a property, unless it is permeable paving or drains water onto a permeable area within the curtilage of the property’. Otherwise, planning permission will be needed, ‘and should be refused in line with policies to encourage SuDS’.

In England, these measures took effect in April 2010 and in Scotland, similar measures are being considered now.

For domestic properties, similar changes take away permitted development rights from new or replacement drives or other paving, unless it is permeable paving or drains water onto a ‘rain garden’ area within the property. In England, these measures took effect in October 2008 and apply to paving covering more than five square meters, and in front gardens only. But in Scotland, restrictions apply to work initiated after 6 February 2012 and to paving of any size ‘between the house and any street’, ie not just to front gardens.

Both the English and Scottish governments refer to a guide on permeable paving from the Department of Communities and Local Government and this, in turn, refers to the Interpave guidance document, which is available here.

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