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Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens

Comment 5th July 2010

This document is not the law but is being treated and the law by my local authority. It is an attempt by unelected officials to create law by the back door. The related legisation is The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008. This states:

F.1 Development is permitted by Class F subject to the condition that where—
(a) the hard surface would be situated on land between a wall forming the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and a highway, and
(b) the area of ground covered by the hard surface, or the area of hard surface replaced, would exceed 5 square metres,
either the hard surface shall be made of porous materials, or provision shall be made to direct run-off water from the hard surface to a permeable or porous area or surface within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.

I beleive the object of the legislation was to discourage the use of impervious surfaces concrete and tarmac in drives which seems reasonable to me. Unfortunately the guidance attempts to define porous in a very specific way which conflicts normal legal principals and means all standard conctructions methods used before the act was introduced do not comply. This seems completely wrong to me. The act should be rewritten to make it clears that normals construction method ie MOT Type 1 can be used to construct gravel drives and  fall with in the permitted development rules.

Why does this matter?

Laws should be enacted by parliment and not by unelected officals. Out lawing tried andtested construction methods should not be permitted.

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