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Front Driveways
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Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #1
11-03-2013 12:30 PM

I have noticed over the last couple of years that the number of houses paving over their front gardens to make driveways seems to be increasing in this area.

I know that paved driveways put a strain on the sewers and increases the risk of flooding, so there are specific planning rules governing new and replacement driveways, but I wondered how seriously does Lewisham Council take this issue?

I have just watched two driveways relaid on my street with tarmac - I am not an expert, but it does not look water permeable to me, and there are definitely no 'rain garden' areas to collect rainwater. Just tarmac all the way from pavement to house.

Not only that, but a lot of these driveways are quite ugly, with no planted areas, just tarmac or slabs all over the front garden.

It makes it harder to park in the street, and often they don't even have a legal crossover laid (ie the dipped bit of kerb next to the road).

What are others opinions on this?

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Posts: 1,361
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
11-03-2013 12:35 PM

If people pave their front gardens it should make it easier to park. Otherwise the person's car/s will be permanently parked in the road.

If they do not have an approved crossover, people may park outside their hardstanding. Sometime the Council puts bollards in the pavement to prevent accessa cross the pavement.

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Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #3
11-03-2013 12:45 PM

Having a front driveway actually makes it harder for others to park - for two reasons:

1. If there is a driveway, the space outside the house cannot be used for parking at any time. So when the person is away, at work, on holiday, etc, no-one can park there. So therefore it actually means less parking in the street.

2. Parking in the street fits more cars in than a driveway. For example, I do not have a driveway, and nor does my next door neighbour. Three cars can park in the road in front of our two houses (our house is wider than a car). If we both had driveways, that would only be parking for two cars. Therefore one less parking space in the road.

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Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #4
11-03-2013 09:51 PM

not great for wildlife either!

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Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #5
12-03-2013 10:59 AM

The planning portal website seems to make the rules quite clear, but lots of people just don't understand the reasons for having proper drainage into the subsoil.
Yes a concrete block driveway looks nice and no doubt increases the value of the house, although I gather that it is a very expensive option. And it can be made so that water drains through the gaps.
Ordinary tarmac is not a good idea,especially as it can go very soft in hot weather, particularly if it is laid by those rogues that knock on your door and say "we've got some tarmac left over from a job round the corner...."
Concrete paths or slabs can be laid with a nice gap between them to plant flowers etc., but then it might not be wide enough for your monster 4X4, which will probably be so heavy it will sink into the ground anyway.
And gravel must always have some sort of grille or trap to stop it spewing out over the pavement and roadway, causing a hazard to both walkers and cyclists: keep your gravel to yourself!

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Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #6
12-03-2013 11:56 AM

Agree about the wildlife comment - my front garden has a cherry tree, shrubs, bulbs etc and I get bees, birds and lots of other wildlife visiting it.

I understand that people do want driveways (on the days I have to park half a mile down the road with children and bags of shopping I sometimes wish I had one too). But at least they should be built with some planted areas to either side, to allow rainwater to drain away and to give some benefit to wildlife.

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