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Sustainable Urban Drainage 

In October 2008 the Government took steps to address future flooding issues and domestic driveways became regulated under the constraints of the ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems’ (SUDS).

Unfortunately, the general homeowners are often confused as to what these regulations actually mean due to the very selective explanations given by some so called ‘experts’ who are actually just trying to promote specific surfacing products for their own benefit.

The basic principles of SUDS relate to how the surface water created by your driveway is managed and the regulations are not there to specify which materials your driveway should be surfaced with.

Accordingly, and for the purpose of domestic driveways and hard-standings, we have simplified the rules and regulations in order that the homeowner can fully understand their obligations.

1. Any driveway built, modified or repaired before October 2008 holds ‘Grandfather Rights’ and is not subject to the new regulations.

2. Any new driveway constructed after October 2008, or any older driveway with ‘Grandfather Rights’ that is repaired or extended by 5m2or more after October 2008, must now comply with the 2008 SUDS regulations.

3. Provided that the surface water created by any driveway (as described in 2. above) drains within the property boundaries, and does not run off the property onto a public highway, then SUDS have been complied with and no planning permission is required REGARDLESS OF WHAT MATERIALS THE DRIVEWAY HAS BEEN SURFACED WITH.

Simply put, and provided that the driveway is cambered to allow the water to run into the property landscaping or is collected by a surface channel and drained into a basic soak-away on the property, then you could actually surface your driveway with welded metal sheets if you so desired (obviously not recommended) and still comply with the SUDS regulations.

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