Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trees for Front Gardens
- Redbridge £ for £ Scheme

Did you know that nowadays if you want to pave over your front garden to provide off-road parking you may need planning permission? There are exceptions but if it’s more than 5 m² of non-permeable surface then you do. It may well seem like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted – the London Assembly has found that almost a quarter of front gardens in South East England are now completely paved over – but it is even more important now to avoid any more adverse consequences on flooding, water pollution and bio-diversity not to mention the aesthetics and property values.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have off-street parking, just that there are a few rules about how to go about it in a modern sustainable way. One piece of the jigsaw is planting.

Putting vegetation, especially trees in front gardens will bring many benefits such as:
  • providing points of infiltration for surface runoff and hence help to prevent flooding
  • improving the appearance of your house and street thereby increase the value of property
  • capturing carbon dioxide and moderating local climate around buildings to reduce energy used for heating or cooling, thereby reduce carbon emissions
  • helping to remove pollution and particles/sediments from air/runoff
  • providing a source of food/habitat for wildlife and hence helping to increase biodiversity
And, did you know that Redbridge Council has a £ for £ scheme for planting trees and they particularly welcome applications for private front gardens.

Here’s the Redbridge Council leaflet.

Commenting on a very modest local housing development, a local resident who has concreted over her entire front garden to provide 3 off-road parking spaces said: “If we leave it to the developers there won’t be a blade of grass left and we will have gridlock on our roads”.


  1. About time. Just a little point, though. Make sure you apply for planning permission BEFORE you pave over your front garden. The chap opposite to us had the entire garden block paved and when he applied for the drop-down kerb, was told he couldn't have it as the garden isn't long enough from house to pavement. Now the garden is gone, we have yet another bricked over area and he still has to park in the street. He is doubly cross as the houses on either side have dropped kerbs because they were put in before the new regulations.

  2. patsy do you have any idea what the measurements are or where I can find them seems a strange rule as the amount of cars parked in the roads on the kerbs are becoming rather a lot lately....especially up here in chignault (I live on a hill).......recession what recession ?not many old cars I see nowadays in this area....

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying. I think it is 5 metres but it isa new regulation so there will still be lots of cars and vans with their a***s hanging over the pavement. However one of my neighbours (2 down from the chap with the paved garden and no dropdown) was told by the Local Authority that she could no longer park on her drive unless she found a way of doing it so that the car did not protrude over the pavement, or she would be fined. Doesn't stop one resident of Baron Gardens who always has a big van (white, naturally) forcing wheelchairs and pushchairs out into the road.

  3. thank you for your reply patsy,seems as if its the same here in chignault lots of cars too large for the driveways but i never thought it was against the rules very interesting to know maybe some round here need to buy minis,