Knowing the Law in Landscape and Design

As businesses continue to grow and new staff are employed, it’s important to ensure that all new staff are given training on at least some of the basic laws that must be adhered to in their everyday work life. 

Failing to know the law is not an acceptable excuse, which is why Sean Butler, Managing Director from Cube 1994 has put together all you need to know. 

  1. Driving a 7.5 ton lorry

January 1st 1997. Within the driver training industry this was, and still is, a very significant date. Yet at the time, and to the general public, it passed by with hardly a whimper. So what happened on that day that is still creating problems over 20 years later?

The big change was in the type of driving licence drivers obtained once they passed their practical car driving test.

If you passed your practical car test (licence category B) before 1 January 1997 you would automatically also acquire licence categories BE, C1, C1E, D1 and D1E.

These additional categories are more commonly known as ‘Acquired Rights’ or ‘Grandfather Rights’.

For those drivers who passed their car test after 1 January 1997 they receive a driving licence with entitlement to drive category B vehicles only. To drive vehicles that fall within the additional categories listed above, additional driving tests have to be taken.

  1. Planning

From 1 October 2008 the permitted development rights that allow householders to pave their front garden with hardstanding without planning permission changed.

Homeowners do not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. 

If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres then planning permission will be required for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not provide for the water to run to a permeable area. 

Applying for planning permission will require you to fill in an application form, draw plans (which have to be to scale) and pay a fee of £150. Planning applications for this type of householder development should normally be decided within 8 weeks of submission.

  1. The laws around transporting goods for use on landscape projects, including the transportation of any materials, plants and debris arising from the clearance of the garden.

You must register if you do any of these things as part of your business:

  • Transport waste
  • Buy, sell or dispose of waste
  • Arrange for someone else to buy, sell or dispose of waste, – including hiring a skip

Failure to register for a waste carriers licence  means you could be left with a fine of up to £5,000.

Registration is usually free if you only transport waste you produce yourself. Otherwise, registration costs £154.