Verging on Excellence

Hard verge

This type of verge treatment can frequently be seen around the City of Bayswater. It could be considered by some to be practical, nice & tidy and long lasting. However it can’t be considered environmentally friendly. (Read on to see an environmentally friendly option). 

The paving contributes to the urban heat island effect, as too in fact do the black house tiles. The hard surface prevents water from penetrating the ground and the resultant water runoff can contribute to flooding. The lack of greenery means there is no fauna. This particular development extends for over 30 metres. 30 metres of hard surface.

I recently had a resident email me about an issue he is facing with the City of Bayswater. The resident has been informed that the crossover, (the portion of a driveway between the road and the boundary fence-line), he has installed is not allowed and he must dig it out and replace with a concrete crossover. He’s obviously upset by this, especially as the crossover he has installed uses new technology which costs more than the traditional concrete crossover and is more environmentally friendly. It should be noted that it is required that crossovers have approval before installation, and also that the City does have an obligation to ensure that crossovers will last the test of time, are easily identifiable and do not disintegrate and cause pedestrian obstacles.

This is it:

soft verge

The paving blocks in the background are where the cars are parked, and the driveway, which looks like normal lawn, is being grown in porous tiles made from recycled plastic. Supposedly this new technology has load bearing capabilities which exceed concrete. In addition it obviously also reduces water run-off, replenishes the ground water, cleans the air etc.

I advised the resident to request that the matter be taken to council for determination and have subsequently been informed that it will be coming to the next council meeting. A decision will likely be made on whether to allow the new technology to be used or for it to be replaced with a traditional concrete driveway up to his boundary line. What are your views? Should council insist on the tried and tested concrete crossovers, or should the rule book be updated to be more accommodating of new technologies?

Power to the people.

(Please be aware that these views are my own and have not been endorsed by the City of Bayswater)