The Dulwich Estate

4. Hardstandings in front gardens

Under the Scheme of Management, proposals to form hardstandings for off-street parking, resurfacing of an existing drive with a different material or hardstanding and any other alterations that would change the appearance of a property, require prior written approval:

The Scheme of Management requires that no material alteration is to be made to the external appearance of any building or structure on an enfranchised property and no new or additional building or structure is to be erected without the prior written approval of the Managers.

The Managers of the Scheme are the Incorporated Trustees of The Dulwich Estate and written approval for alterations is provided to applicants by way of a Licence.

Residents considering forming hardstandings for car parking must consider the impact of the hardstanding on the streetscape. Where a hardstanding is acceptable, the appropriate paving materials and associated landscaping will be specified. Applicants must also consult the local authority and obtain the necessary permissions, in particular if changes are necessary to the pavement or crossover. The local authority will take into account road safety and, in most cases, will be responsible for forming the crossover in the footpath. However, local authority permission for a crossover does not indicate that approval will be given under the Scheme of Management and an application must be made in all cases to the Managers.

The following factors will be taken into account by the Managers when a licence application is made for a hardstanding or for the resurfacing of an existing hardstanding:

1. Front gardens and the hedges, fences and walls which form the front boundaries are important features of the streetscape in many parts of the Dulwich Estate. It is the policy of the Managers to conserve this traditional character and applications for hardstandings, which would result in the loss of a substantial proportion of front garden, will not usually be approved. As a general rule, at least half of the total garden area should be retained as a planted area.

2. Where a hardstanding for off-street parking can be formed without the substantial loss (usually more than half) of the original front garden, the paving material which forms the hardstanding and drive and associated landscaping are to be in sympathy with the design of the property and adjoining streetscape.

3. The setting and architectural character of a group of houses are major factors which will influence the decision of the Managers; hardstandings will not be approved where it is considered they would have an adverse impact. Thus, in certain streets, hardstandings will not be approved. However, the Managers will take into account all relevant factors when considering an application in order to determine whether approval should be granted for the proposal, having regard to its impact on amenity.

4. The width of the entrance created on the front boundary to permit vehicular access is to be kept to a minimum.

5. The design of the hardstanding should, as far as possible, ensure that a parked vehicle is screened by planting when the property is viewed from the road.

6. Careful consideration should be given to the means by which surface water will drain from the hardstanding. The applicant is to ensure that the proposal complies with the relevant regulations. A porous surface to the hardstanding may avoid the need for additional drainage.

Drawings submitted in support of the application must be accurate and to a scale of 1:50. The dimensions of the paved area must be included on the drawings together with details of the materials proposed. Full details of the planting scheme must also be provided and the Managers may require further information if these are not comprehensive.

Please note that as a condition of the licence for a hardstanding, the planting scheme approved as part of the application must be fully kept up in order to provide adequate screening of a parked vehicle. When plants and shrubs die off, the freeholder is expected to plant replacements.

Changes proposed to the front boundary (walls, hedges, gates and other features) must be shown in elevation on the drawings.


Please also refer to the General Guidance Notes For Freeholders Of Property Subject To The Scheme of Management Making Application For Building Or Tree Works.

February 2006


Download document in PDF format Hardstandings in Front Gardens Guidance Notes (PDF 1153kb)