Drives, paths and landscaping

10.2.9Garden areas

Garden areas within 20m of habitable accommodation shall be adequately prepared, stable and provided with reasonable access.

The stability of new or existing slopes in garden areas should be determined by an engineer in accordance with Technical Requirement R5. Alternatively, the following maximum gradients should apply:

  • Unsupported granular soil should be 5° less than its natural angle of repose.
  • Unsupported cohesive soil should not exceed 9° (1:6).

Garden areas should have:

  • old foundations, concrete bases and similar obstructions within 300mm of the finished ground surface removed
  • appropriate action, such as rotavating, undertaken to restore the drainage characteristics of soil that has been compacted during construction
  • ground disturbed during construction re-graded to conform to the general shape of the adjacent ground
  • a minimum thickness of 100mm topsoil provided. Topsoil should not contain contaminants which may present a hazard to the occupants. Disturbed topsoil should be reinstated.

Subsoil should not be placed over topsoil. Construction rubbish and debris should be removed from the garden and other areas around the home.

Access is not required to small isolated garden areas, such as narrow strips of land at the top or bottom of retaining walls, but should be provided to other areas where appropriate by steps or other suitable means.