Please note: online orders placed after Thursday 20th December 2018 will be processed from Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Which permeable block paving is best for my driveway?

Which permeable paving will suit my driveway?

Permeable paving is now installed as standard in town and city shopping centres, parks and piazzas throughout the UK.  It does a great job of looking good for a long time as well as performing the essential job of allowing rainwater to drain off naturally. Marshalls are leading UK experts at manufacturing commercial block paving, but you won’t be surprised that they also produce attractive, high-quality driveway paving for homeowners. If you want robust, practical, well-engineered and guaranteed block paving for your driveway, take a look at their products. You won't be disappointed with quality or performance, making your landscaping investment a sound one.

£496.21 Per Pack
£61.56 Per m2
Price Includes VAT

Recommended permeable block paving

Extremely popular with homeowners throughout the UK is Marshalls Drivesett Tegula Priora Block Paving.  Like all permeable blocks, it needs no no planning permission and has a lovely tumbled finish for a softly aged look. Tegula comes in three warm colours and three different sized blocks so you can mix and match for a bespoke look. This high technical specification, consistency and quality combined with its really attractive finish makes it a real winner.

Stonemarket Rio Permapave Textured Driveway Paviours are cool, contemporary permeable driveway blocks. They have an attractive coarse textured granite finish and are available in the same three Rio Granite Paving colours: Silver, Grey and Carbon. There is also a matching walling option. Each pack contains a blend of the three carefully proportioned sizes to create a stylish permeable driveway to suit properties with clean, architectural facades.

Like the hugely popular Tegula, Marshalls Priora Block Paving has been tumbled to create a softer, aged-look surface finish. It’s a great cost-effective option for anyone looking to install an efficient permeable driveway.

Permeable driveway block paving handles heavy rainfall

See for yourself!  This Marshalls video shows how permeable paving handles a ridiculous amount of water.

Permeable paving is an engineering solution to cope with the run-off from paths, driveways, parking areas in periods of intense rainfall. It’s block paving which provides an efficient and environmentally sustainable paving surface to support our street drainage systems. Surface water permeates through the surface of a path or driveway and into the ground to be released slowly back into the environment and into water courses. It’s a solution which reduces flood risk cost very effectively.

How is permeable paving installed?

Permeable paving requires different installation to regular block paving. Before foundations are laid, the permeability of the soil needs to be surveyed to calculate how it currently copes with rainfall.

Typically, the foundations of permeable paving are first, a 150mm depth of 20mm clean crushed stone, and then a 50mm laying course depth of 6mm clean crushed stone.  Unlike traditional block paving construction, the more open-graded sub-base materials should not be fully compacted to get rid of any voids, as this will compromise its performance.

Due to the permeable nature of the sub-layers and the block paving, don’t let any site dirt and detritus collect in the sub-base as it will affect its permeability. For the same reason, the sub-base must not be used for site access.

As with all block paving materials, there can be colour variations in different packs of blocks, so when beginning to lay, we recommend mixing blocks simultaneously from a minimum of three packs, taking vertically from each slice in an opened pack. This will make sure there is an even distribution of both the colours and any manufacturing tolerances offered by the blocks.

Does permeable paving need special maintenance?

There are some installers out there who mutter about how permeable paving gets clogged and fails to work effectively. Properly maintained, this is not an issue. Here are Marshalls' simple, no-fuss recommendations for maintenance:

  • Inspect at least twice a year, spring and autumn, and/or after a major storm
  • Brush the surface to remove debris and encrusted sediment
  • Keep the area free of vegetation
  • Refill the joints when empty

Or watch their helpful video:



The background story - how permeable paving came about

We have all heard about areas of the UK that have suffered damage from flash floods in recent years. Some blame for this lies with increased building development in urban and suburban areas which has resulted in insufficient areas of vegetation available to absorb rainwater. Hard, impermeable surfaces and structures direct rainwater into surface water drainage systems instead, overloading them, which results in floods.

Given that many homeowners over the past 20 years or so have covered over garden grass and beds with hard landscaping, and that driveways are included in most new developments, it’s not surprising that building engineers have been tasked with finding a more efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional drainage methods.

Permeable Paving

- Permeapave Cutaway

Sustainable drainage systems (Suds) offer one alternative to those traditional piped systems of water drainage. Suds have been around for a few years and are gradually gaining acceptance in the construction industry and beyond. The idea behind Suds is to try to replicate natural systems, allowing dirty and surface water run-off to permeate through the surface of say, a walkway or driveway and into the ground at source, to be released slowly back into the environment, such as into water courses.

Permeable paving is one great example of a Suds solution which reduces flood risk cost effectively, while maintaining aesthetically attractive hard standing. There are now lots of choices in terms of looks and cost, for commercial and residential projects.

Do I need planning permission for a driveway made from permeable paving?

The sustainable, environmentally-friendly design of permeable paving means you do not need planning permission for this kind of driveway installation on your front garden. For further clarification, take a look at Permeable surfacing of front gardens: guidance.

Why? After the catastrophic floods of 2007, government and environment agencies took a look at the pressure that increasing numbers of domestic driveways and hard landscaping projects were putting on urban drainage systems.  The result was that councils were given certain controls over the number of houses in a street allowed to add driveways. Plus, guidelines were put in place for the type and quantity of paving that could be used on each property without planning permission. So, in brief:

You will not need to apply for driveway planning permission

  • If your new or replacement driveway uses permeable (or porous) surfacing, such as gravel, permeable block paving or porous asphalt
  • If your non-permeable driveway has a rainwater run-off into a permeable area – such as on to lawn or border
  • If your new driveway measures under 5m2

You will need driveway planning permission

  • If your new driveway has over 5m2 of paved area
  • You are planning a non-permeable material for your driveway (normal rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t say Permeable or Priora, it isn’t permeable)
  • Your new driveway doesn’t have a rainwater run-off on to a permeable surface
  • If you are having a new driveway placed at your property and require a drop kerb for access

Permeable paving needs different foundation to regular block paving. Before foundations are laid, the permeability of the soil needs to be tested by a professional, to calculate the depth of the foundations to best cope with rainfall. Typically, the foundations of permeable paving are 200mm depth of 20mm clean crushed stone and 50mm laying course depth of 6mm clean crushed stone.

Any queries? Take a look at Permeable surfacing of front gardens: guidance, and for more information on permeable paving you might like to check out Marshalls' Permeable Paving Design Guide.

Check out our full range of permeable paving products online. Or call our friendly customer service team at 01529 308839