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From today if you were thinking of paving over your front garden or replacing its existing hard surfacing then you might have to contact your Local Planning Authority. This is to see if you need to get permission to continue, or else, you could now be contravening the law.

Announced in September by the Government permitted development rights for domestic front gardens has changed as of the 1st October 2008. This now means planning permission is required to lay impermeable surfaces, such as concrete, if they allow rainwater to flow onto the public highway from your property.

This new legislation was introduced due to the recognised contribution of surface water run off entering into the drainage networks from hard standing areas. This has subsequently added to the risk of flooding in our towns and cities in consistent or heavy down pours. A more common phenomenon which we have all seen the devastating affects of throughout the UK in recent years.

However, there are exceptions to this. The new planning regulations accept that if a new driveway or parking area is being constructed using porous surfaces, such as permeable concrete block paving, or if the water can soak away on your property then you will be exempt.

The ruling also only applies if your hard landscaped surface is going to exceed five square metres.

Leading the market in the development and installation training of permeable paving, as well as, all the issues surrounding the new legislation is Marshalls plc, the UK’s foremost hard landscaping manufacturing company.

Earlier this year Marshalls introduced three new permeable paving products into the driveways market, Priora, Tegula Priora and Grassgaurd. These combine to offer householders 10 colour and texture options and most importantly are produced using the company’s special low carbon production technology which delivers a 39% reduction in the products carbon footprint.

In January 2009 it will add yet another permeable paving product to its range, the contemporary Argent Priora. With this new addition Marshalls believes it has the UK’s most comprehensive permeable paving product offer for the domestic market.

Marshalls’ domestic permeable paving solution is also the most simple & proven product on the market and has been developed from years of experience on significant large scale commercial projects.

The unique solution is designed to mimic nature as closely as possible, allowing the water to soak in to the ground at source. It also has the proven inherent structural stability to be driven on. However, the company does recommend the use of skilled and more importantly trained installers of permeable paving to lay it. That is why in line with its product development the company has been training its Marshalls Register of Approved Landscape Contractors & Driveway Installers around the country.

These local installers make up a national network of recommended professionals and even though they are not employed by Marshalls, they abide by a strict code of Installation Practice. They are also all vetted frequently, so they maintain the exacting standards expected of this highly respected Membership scheme.

To keep right up to date on which installers have completed this training in your area or to find out any further information on the new legislation then please visit the Marshalls web site at .

You can also view Marshalls’ inspirational permeable paving collection whilst you are there as well.