The cheapest way of surfacing a drive is with resin bonded gravel. If you have an existing concrete or tarmac drive that is in relatively good condition then a resin bonded gravel system can be applied over the top. The coating is approx. 2-3mm thick and consists of 1-3mm aggregate. It leaves a gravel appearance drive but with no loose gravel. All loose gravel is swept up and removed before finishing the work. Resin bound gravel is a similar decorative surface, but prepared and laid differently. It is thicker, can be made porous and is obviously more costly.
Under new laws, if your drive expels water onto a highway then you need planning permission. If your drive is permeable or if it drains and contains water within it’s boundaries, then you do not need planning permission.
This obviously depends on a number of factors: the existing driveway surface, the aesthetic feel you want to achieve, cost, etc. The most hard-wearing and problem-free surface is tarmac. It is a seamless surface detering weed growth and very durable. But we offer a range of solutions from block-paving, to resin bonded gravel, self-binding gravel, loose gravel and reinforced turf.
Question from Ann Tobin
A gravel drive should consist of approx. 2-inches depth of 14-20mm sized aggregate. Smaller than this and the gravel travels too much or can get stuck in car tyres. The underlying base should be approx.4-inches of MOT type 1 hardcore, compacted with a vibrating plate. However, if you are doing it yourself , as long as the base is stable and does not consist of soil, then the gravel can go straight on top. As gravel is movable/flexible, the base is not as important as when completing tarmac or block-paved drives for example. It is not recommended to lay a membrane beneath the gravel as this can cause slipping of the gravel, it needs to lock into the base.