Has putting in a new driveway or patio put you and your property at a higher risk of flooding? Replacing traditional lawns can be a risky business!
Millions of householders do not realise that they are not only putting their properties and that of their neighbours at risk of flooding when paving over garden areas for off-street parking, but they may also be in breach of planning rules.
This is a problem that EcoGrid porous paving of course addresses –
The law states that if you are building a driveway bigger than five square metres it needs to be made of permeable material like that shown in the photos here. If it isn’t, then you will need planning permission. These rules were brought in following the devastating floods of 2007, which caused around £3 billion of damage.
Why all the fuss? These changes are preventing water from soaking through the ground, not only exasperating flooding but also affecting the natural water table, causing problems with water shortages and droughts.
The street and road drains are unable to cope with the extra storm water which in turn can cause devastation for many home owners.
Brendan McCafferty, chief executive of the government flood insurance scheme Flood Re, says: “People should be aware that making improvements to their home – whether that is building an extension or putting in a driveway can increase the risk of surface water flooding.”
The problem doesn’t solely lie there. Other factors should also be taken into account, such as:
1. Councils needing to maintain drains that are clearly blocked.
2. Councils needing to enforce the law and ensure the use of permeable materials (according to Flood Re, in 2013 only 4% of paving material bought for driveways and patios in England was permeable – shocking!)
3. Homeowners considering, wherever possible, re-using rainwater rather than using mains tap water.
If you’re looking to learn more, this government guide offers tips on installing and maintaining permeable surfacing and rainwater harvesting systems, so that your home isn’t contributing to the ever apparent flooding and pollution issue.