RC PatternPrint always operates in accordance with best building practice and will not contravene planning permission rules, building regulations or local bye-laws. Generally speaking, planning permission and building regulations do not apply to the installation of pattern imprinted concrete paving to a front driveway or a patio. However, from 1st October 2008 new rules apply for householders wanting to pave over their front gardens. You will NOT need planning permission if a new driveway uses permeable or porous surfacing which allows surface water to drain through, or if the rainwater on a non-porous surface is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. If an existing porous surface of more than five square metres between the front of the property and the public highway is converted to a non-porous area such as pattern imprinted concrete, then planning permission is still NOT required providing surface rain water is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally and not to the road or to existing mains drains.



Rain gardens are widely used in America and have now been introduced to the United Kingdom in response to the new rules introduced in 2008. Rain Gardens are depressions located along the edge of the pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio at a low point. The depression can be filled with suitable plants to help slow run-off, or gravel.

To comply with these regulations RC PatternPrint will generally use a combination of aco drains, French drains, land drains and soakaways. Nevertheless, every pattern imprinted concrete driveway and patio installation is different and our designers and surveyors can offer best advice during their visit to your home. Where planning permission is shown to be required, we will make an application on your behalf.

Where manholes have to be replaced as part of your pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio installation, RC PatternPrint prefer to use recessed Manhole covers. These are available in several sizes and have either a five ton or ten ton rating depending on the type of traffic the new surface is used for. Recessed covers over manholes allow our installers to infill them with pattern imprinted concrete and colour it to match the area around the manhole. The pattern imprinted concrete recessed tray covers are much more attractive than a basic metal manhole cover and can be easily lifted for access and inspection of drains at a later date.

Building Regulations do not generally apply to paving, though we will need to ensure that any alterations do not make access to your home any less satisfactory than it was before. Again, our designers and surveyors can advise you in your particular circumstances




The nature of concrete is such that it is impossible for anyone to guarantee against cracking on domestic driveways or patios (or roads, car parks, airport runways, bridges, sea defences or any other structure). Interestingly though, concrete is still widely used due to its proven and time tested long term durability. However, in order to reduce the chance of random cracking, cuts are made in the concrete with a diamond saw blade, wherever possible, incorporating high stress areas such as corners. Corners can be further reinforced with steel where required. Also, once cut, we ensure that the individual ‘pieces’ will not exceed 20 m² in size at a ratio of 2:1 to further reduce the chances of random cracking. Appropriate coloured silicone joint filler, which is complimentary and in keeping with the finished surface, is applied to all cuts. The filler reduces the chances of dirt building up and consequently any weeds growing out of the joints. For example, in a long thin path there would be more control joints cut to reduce the risk of cracking.

Drainage, Planning Permission and Building Regulations

What is a Rain Garden?

Stress Cracks & Controll Joints Explained