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Permeable Paving: Why It’s the Solution to a Paved Driveway Ban

By Megan Reid
3 min read

You may have seen stories in the news recently about a potential paved driveway ban being introduced across the UK.

It might seem like an alarming development for housebuilders. But there’s nothing to worry about. In this blog post, our technical team – which deals with complex SuDS projects involving various paving products – explains everything you need to know.

Why is a paved driveway ban being proposed?

Traditionally, plenty of soakaway space was provided in front gardens – such as lawned areas – allowing rainwater to soak naturally into the ground.

As vehicle ownership increased in recent decades, demand has grown for fully paved driveways to maximise parking space. Commonly, this has been provided using impermeable surfaces – such as tarmac or concrete block paving.

The trouble is this seals the ground, stopping rainwater from draining into the earth below. Instead, the water must flow over the surface and find another way into the ground – often via local authority-owned roads and drainage systems.

This can lead to flooding issues above ground and can overwhelm drainage systems below ground, causing a higher risk of flooding and damage to property.

What’s the solution to a ban on paved driveways for housebuilders?

Using a sustainable solution such as permeable paving is a great way to overcome this issue. It allows housebuilders to continue building parking areas on their developments while preventing flood issues. 

What is permeable paving?

Firstly, permeable paving has no real aesthetic difference to regular block paving. It simply allows water to flow down in between the blocks and infiltrate the ground below. The blocks are manufactured with larger spacer nibs than on traditional block paving. This creates a gap between each block through which water can drain. It avoids the need for any soft landscaping, drainage channels or soakaways.

Find out more about Tobermore’s Hydropave permeable paving products

How do you lay permeable paving?

A key factor in permeable paving’s success at mitigating flooding lies in the sub-base. The aggregates used beneath the paving must also be permeable, and allow the water to drain through to the ground below.

This is possible because of large, angular stones which interlock to create a very strong base. A laying course of angular grit is then laid on top to create a level bed. The paving can then be laid directly onto this bed – no sand is required.

Now here’s the clever bit. The stones have voids between them which provide storage for rainwater. During heavy rain, the water is collected in the voids until it can soak away naturally into the ground.

Why should housebuilders specify Tobermore Hydropave?

We’ve covered the obvious, environmental benefits of permeable paving. But why should housebuilders specify Tobermore’s own Hydropave product?

Here are several further benefits housebuilders should consider:

  • Hydropave gives an attractive finish with no real difference in appearance to standard block paving
  • It maintains kerb appeal to the front of homes 
  • It provides a hard wearing and durable surface 
  • Hydropave is available in a wide range of colours and textures

What else do housebuilders need to consider when specifying permeable paving?

Hydropave permeable paving can be used on driveways, patios and paths where the intent is to infiltrate water back into the ground. The paving should only be used to deal with water landing on it and not from other adjacent impermeable areas. 

In some regions of the UK and Ireland the ground conditions may not be suitable for the infiltration of water or it may have an adverse effect on the property’s foundations. In these instances, it’s best to contact your local Building Control office. 

Hydropave permeable paving should only be used in areas where the sub-grade strength is greater than 5%.

Take a look at projects featuring Tobermore’s Hydropave permeable paving.

Read more about the paved driveway ban as reported in the media.

tobermore permeable paving what does Tobermore have to offer

Permeable Paving Range

Tobermore’s Hydropave permeable paving range allows you to create spectacular hard landscaping features with environmentally friendly products.

Megan Reid

Megan is the Commercial Marketing Executive at Tobermore. Her role is to assist the Commercial Marketing Manager when delivering successful marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and support sales within the professional market.