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Marshalls Delighted By The Balanced Approach In Front Garden Legislation

With the recent announcement by the Government that from Wednesday 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights for domestic front gardens has been changed. The UK’s leading hard landscaping company, Marshalls plc, has welcomed the balanced approach set out in the changes.

A document helping the householder understand the legislation released by Communities & Local Government and Environment Agency called ‘Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens’, outlines the new directive:

‘From 1st October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front garden for hardstanding without planning permission have changed. Planning permission is now required to lay traditional impermeable driveways that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater from front gardens onto roads, because this can contribute to flooding and pollution of watercourses.

If a new driveway or parking area is constructed using permeable surfaces such as permeable concrete block paving, porous asphalt or gravel, or if the water is otherwise able to soak into the ground you will not require planning permission. The new rules will also apply where existing hardstandings are being replaced. The new rules apply to hard surfaces exceeding 5 square metres in area.’

Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director, Marshalls, commented on the legislation:

“The introduction of Permeable paving to domestic front gardens is a very important development in the battle against extreme weather conditions driven by climate change. Marshalls are fully supportive of the move towards the use permeable paving and have an extensive range of products available..

“However we are pleased to see that the Government has recognised that permeable paving is not suitable for all driveways for example those that slope towards the house or for all areas of the country, due to the differing nature of the UK’s ground conditions especially those with very heavy clay or where the land lies below the water table.

“We think the decision to still utilise impermeable concrete block paving materials, providing that adequate provision is made for run off water to be channelled to soakaways, or a rain garden within the property boundary is a well thought out and is a considered move to providing a sustainable solution. Marshalls has introduced a range of domestic drainage options available to its Register Members to assist with such projects.

“In essence we believe this kind of development is about good garden design using hard and soft landscaping materials that meet the requirements of the legislation, considers all environmental issues and successfully deliver well designed spaces that meet the customers’ requirements.”

Marshalls already has an enormous amount of experience in providing successful and proven permeable paving and sustainable urban drainage (SUDs) solutions for public and private developments. The company has worked on numerous significant projects throughout the UK where surface water issues needed to be addressed.

Marshalls SUDS solutions have been specifically designed to remove the need for highly complex tanking or membrane systems ensuring that the move to SUDS and permeable paving is made as straightforward as possible.

Earlier this year Marshalls introduced 3 new SUDS products into the driveways market, offering permeable paving ranges in its Priora, Tegula Priora and Grassgaurd offerings. These combine to offer householders 10 colour and texture options and most importantly are produced using Marshalls special low carbon production technology which delivers a 39% reduction in the products carbon footprint. Marshalls are a Carbon Trust labelling partner and have recently announced the labelling of 503 of its Domestic paving products, the largest official carbon labelling program in the world.

In January 2009 Marshalls will add yet another permeable paving product to its range, the contemporary Argent Priora. With this product range Marshalls believes that it has the UK’s most comprehensive SUDS and permeable paving product offering.

In other areas Marshalls is leading the industry in the training of installers on permeable installations. So far this year it has offered free training to its Marshalls Register of Approved Landscape Contractors & Driveway Installers for the design and installation of permeable paving. To date it has trained over 134 businesses and has over 200 companies booked for courses at 13 training sites in the next few weeks.

For its Builders Merchant stockists Marshalls has literature available on the issue and is supporting them with the introduction of a new training and sales support package.

Coinciding with the Government’s announcement on 10 Sept 2008, Marshalls held a spectacular permeable paving demonstration at one of its Marshalls Gardens & Driveways Display Centres in Enfield.

Recreating the conditions of a 100 year storm, Marshalls released 5000 litres of water on to a 100 square metre display pad showcasing all its permeable paving products. The results were an amazing testament to their products with Marshalls Priora, Marshals Tegula Priora and Marshalls Grassguard performing perfectly, there was no flooding, the driveways quickly dispersed the water with no run off in conditions where water was landing at a massive rate of 10 litres per second.

Advice and help on permeable paving for driveways and front gardens can be found on the Marshalls website and from Marshalls Register of Approved Landscapers and Driveways Installers.

Chris Harrop, concludes:

“Marshalls is fully committed to offering our consumers unrivalled choice and quality and we will continue to innovate in this area to bring the very latest technology combined with outstanding landscaping designs to the domestic market.

“We are fully supporting Consumers, our Registered Installers & Builders Merchant stockists and see this as a great opportunity to sustainably transform Britain’s Landscapes.”

For further information and full comprehensive details about the new legislation please follow the internet links below:

Easy to read guide to the changes:

A handy image showing the government definition of a front garden area:

The full legislation: