Sustainable drainage explained by Interpave’s “Permitted Paving”

Although a requirement for most new developments, other – often forgotten – planning measures encouraging sustainable drainage (or SuDS) also apply to new or replacement paving around existing properties.

They are explained in brand new editions of Interpave’s ‘Permitted Paving’ and other guidelines, which are now available to download.

Originating from the government-backed Pitt Review, various requirements for SuDS affecting retrofitted new and replacement paving were put in place through changes to planning rules in England, Scotland and Wales some time ago.

But the growing awareness of the importance of SuDS and permeable paving in the fight against flooding means increasingly robust enforcement by local authorities today.

Before these changes, paving anywhere in a garden related to a ‘dwellinghouse’ or within various non-residential properties, using any materials, was considered to be ‘permitted development’ – effectively, an automatic planning permission without needing a planning application. But these rights no longer apply to new or replacement drives or other paving between a house and the street, or within industrial, warehouse, office and shop premises – unless it is permeable paving or drains water onto a permeable area within the property.

Otherwise planning permission will be needed but – with the latest national and local planning policies encouraging or requiring SuDS – unlikely to be granted. For example, the Greater London Authority includes a strong presumption against impermeable paving in its proposed planning policies.

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