• Over a million home owners paved a portion of their garden in 2013
  • Paving of gardens may leave home owners and neighbours more vulnerable to flooding
  • Over 10% of those who paved over their garden may actually be in breach of planning regulations

The traditional lawned garden could become a thing of the past if Brits continue to pave over their green space, as revealed in new research by LV=. There’s a growing trend in replacing turf with slabs, with over a million UK homeowners adding concrete to their green space in 2013.

And what were the main reasons for making these drastic changes? Of those that paved over part or all of their garden, 51% did so to create a patio for entertaining guests and hosting BBQs. Almost a third (31%) wanted somewhere to park their car (31%) and a similar number just wanted to reduce their garden maintenance (30%).

In fact, the average amount of green space that has been paved over per home equates to over 24m2 – that’s the almost two car parking spaces’ worth!

Excessive paving can also raise the potential problem of floodwater run-off because water can’t easily run off into the soil; hard surfaces can cause water to build up in roads and valleys and can make drains more likely to overflow. So, by paving over lawns homeowners risk leaving themselves and their neighbours more vulnerable to flooding.

Since October 2008 any new installation of impermeable paving (like asphalt) in front gardens, which exceeds 5m2 and allows uncontrolled rainwater to run into the road, requires planning permission. This is something that many homeowners won’t be aware of and by breaching these conditions put themselves at risk of a fine or enforcement order. If in doubt, check with your council BEFORE making these changes to your home.