Published on 29th January 2021

Houses with front gardens

With the recent and persistent bad weather, including heavy rainfall, the council wants to remind residents of the planning measures in place to ensure driveways are suitably designed.

Many common projects such as surfacing a driveway have clear guidance for Cheltenham residents on the council’s webpages ( that helps to combat the risk of flooding..

Planning measures have been in place since October 2008 to encourage permeable solutions as part of the fight against flooding. These solutions include; gravel, permeable concrete block paving, porous asphalt or natural drainage which could be considered for new or replacement paving around existing buildings. Similar measures have applied to industrial, warehouse, office and shop premises since April 2010.

Cabinet member for cyber and safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, said: “Before residents begin home improvement projects we want to encourage everyone to be aware of the options available to them. The council’s webpages explain the planning laws that are in place, which affect new or resurfaced front drives, in order to reduce the risk of flooding.

‘’Ensure that your trader is knowledgeable and will follow the rules. You could end up spending thousands on something which is later found to be non-compliant and it could also cause issues when it comes to selling your home.’’

Mike Holmes, interim head of planning, added: “The trend for turning a front or side garden into a driveway has become increasing popular, as some householders prefer to have the option of parking space.

‘’Following some feedback from householders, we’d encourage residents to look at our website to make informed decisions about the material to be used by their chosen trader. As an example, traders should know that if the area to be covered is over five square metres and impermeable, such as tarmac, then it requires planning permission. Alternatively, permeable material like gravel or pebbles, covering any size area would not require planning permission.”

Additional information with links to trade professionals can be found at and more information about the council’s climate change commitment can be found at

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