Living in UK towns or cities and driving a car has plenty of challenges that you can’t always do much about: congestion, speed limits, cameras and the dreaded parking restrictions. So it’s no surprise that many commuters look to convert their front garden into a parking spot in an attempt to minimise time spent hunting out a space close to home or parking streets away every evening.
Cutting down time looking for a parking space is just one benefit of creating some off-street parking for yourself. There are plenty others, including:
- Eliminating the cost of forking out for an annual parking permit, something most councils now enforce in urban areas.
- Increasing the value of your home. Analysis carried out by Direct Line shows that there was an increase of 49% in the number of successful applications.
- Less time spent weeding the front garden and keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to keeping colourful flowerbeds.
- Greater chances of having a clean car as it’s much easier to wash it at the weekend (or, better yet, get the kids involved to help out!).
However, it’s not as simple as digging up the soil and laying some concrete. You wouldn’t be the first to try it, but you also won’t be the first to land yourself in hot water with your local council as one homeowner recently found out.
What’s The Issue?
There Are Two Main Things For You To Consider:
Whether you require planning permission from your local council. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you are using a porous material, such as gravel or permeable block paving or asphalt, then the chances of requiring permission are low. Alternatively, if you can create the space where water runoff can drain to a lawn or border then you should be fine too. However, anything over five square metres built with an impermeable material will need planning permission. To be absolutely sure, check with your local council or consult the government’s Planning Portal.
Dropped kerbs (also known as vehicle crossovers) are another thing you’ll want to check with your local council. The chances are that you will have to apply for permission to install a dropped kerb. This will allow you to make the crossing from the road onto your driveway more easily, but it has another important purpose as well. When pavements are put in place they are built to pedestrian standards – in other words, their weight-bearing capability is limited. Adding to that load by driving over it will lead to damage over time, so it will need to be strengthened. It may be that your council refers to you to the local Highways Authority to submit an application, but they should be your first port of call. They will also be able to advise on whether they have an approved list of contractors you should use and whether there are any particular road marking requirements where you are.
Don’t let any of this put you off! They are both fairly straightforward procedures and the sooner you engage and consult with your local council, the sooner you can get that sweet parking spot right outside you home each and every time.