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  • FIRST POST
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 13th Jun 17, 7:59 AM
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    kkudi
    Application to drop the kerb
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:59 AM
    Application to drop the kerb 13th Jun 17 at 7:59 AM
    I just bought a car and I find it extremely hard to park on my road, despite the existence of a CPZ. The problem is particularly prevalent on weekends, especially on Saturdays. The CPZ is only enforceable Mon-Fri 10am-12pm.

    Now onto my question...

    My front garden is big enough to accommodate a medium sized car. Its dimensions are 5m wide and 4.4 metres long from the back of the pavement to my bay windows, and 4.90m from the back of the pavement to the beginning of the first line boundary. I'm attaching a diagram to help illustrate the front garden area with dimensions. It's on imgur with id kU2FI (sorry cannot post links)


    Now, on the street I live, there's about a dozen houses with dropped kerbs/off-street with very similar front garden dimensions. There's even a couple of houses whereby the length is even smaller than 4m and they have dropped kerbs with yellow lines painted on the road. They have to park the car diagonally otherwise it would overflow by more than a foot!

    I have been over to the council website and it clearly states "The minimum depth from the back of the footway to your building line must be 4.80 metres".

    I tick all other boxes except this one. There are no street lights, there are no trees, no street furniture or anything unusual. I believe there are no services that would need moving either, so all in all a pretty straightforward application.

    Now, applying costs £294 and that's for an engineer to come out and inspect the site before they approve/reject and quote for dropping the kerb. In your expert opinion, what are my options here? Is it worth taking the plunge for putting an application in and if it gets rejected (which I think it will because of the minimum depth requirement), appeal on the grounds of other houses having one? Has anyone else been in the same situation and had their application reconsidered following a rejection?

    I just find it unfair that houses on the road have exactly what I want to have and it seems that I cannot under these strict rules.
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
    • 22,637 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
    Fairness and precedent doesn't necessarily come into planning as leverage.

    Regulations and requirements change over time, so what was acceptable at some previous point in history may not be relevant now. Cars are longer and wider on average than they used to be.

    If the council has a published requirement, I'd assume it has to be met, otherwise why state it so clearly in the public domain?
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 13th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
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    kkudi
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
    I agree with what you're saying - I guess I'm looking to see if there have been other homeowners who have been in my shoes and have managed to be successful with an appeal, or perhaps share their story.

    What other options do I have? Is it worth considering starting a campaign to make the CPZ stricter? Would a stricter CPZ make it easier to find space on the road?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 13th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
    Firstly, what are the times of the CPZ? 10am-noon or 10am-midnight? (12pm and 12am don't really exist as times). If it's 10am-midnight, can you manage your arrival so that you bag a space before the weekend?

    If not, yes you could lobby for different CPZ times but that would take some time and presumably would require the agreement of the majority of the residents?

    I don't think an appeal will work because as Davesnave said, what's the point of a regulation if they'll bend it for anyone who asks?
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 13th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
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    kkudi
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
    The CPZ is for 2 hours only Mon-Fri. From 10am until noon.

    I don't see why residents would disagree if it means there would be more parking spaces available?
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 13th Jun 17, 11:40 AM
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    the_r_sole
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:40 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:40 AM
    The thing is, if you don't have the room, you don't have the room - your car will be overhanging into the footway which will potentially restrict movement on the footway (not saying this is the case but that's why they have a minimum dimension, and while your particular vehicle might not do this, the future owners of the house might etc)
    There are some restrictions which roads officers are open to alternative solutions for, but minimum dimensions are not one of them ime.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 13th Jun 17, 12:21 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:21 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:21 PM
    The CPZ is for 2 hours only Mon-Fri. From 10am until noon.

    I don't see why residents would disagree if it means there would be more parking spaces available?
    Originally posted by kkudi
    Then you could talk to the other residents and see what the appetite for change is. But be careful. If the CPZ were active at weekends, would there really be more spaces available? How many of the extra cars you see at weekends are visiting residents? How many residents might object on the basis that a weekend CPZ would make their guests and visitors' lives more difficult?

    "Coming to visit us for the day or weekend? Park here, but you'll have to move your car for two hours and then hope there's somewhere else to come back to at noon." Not great, is it?

    Citing the ability of your size of car to fit is not going to help because they won't grant permission on the basis of you never changing your car to a larger model.

    I think you're likely to have to work as best you can with the restrictions as they are, I'm afraid.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
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    EssexExile
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
    Have you spoken to anyone at the council? Might be worth a try.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 30th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
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    kkudi
    • #9
    • 30th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    I spoke to the council and they said the minimum depth is 4.80m. They said the law changed back in 2007 when the government conducted a review in December 2006.

    Since then I have done a lot of research to see what other council's guidelines are for dropping the kerb.

    It appears that many councils (in London) do state that a depth between 4m and 4.5m is acceptable.

    Here's wording of guidelines from two councils:

    It is possible to have a crossover if your parking area is an absolute minimum of 3.5 metres deep, but please be aware that it is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle does not overhang the pavement as this may be considered in law to be wilful obstruction, an offence which may be enforced against by the Council.

    Another council:
    Where there is a depth of forecourt between 4 metres and 4.49 metres (and the other criteria are satisfied) a vehicle crossover may be granted if the applicant is willing to enter into an agreement between the property owner and the Council (Short Frontage Agreement) stating that their vehicle will be wholly parked in the forecourt without overhanging the public highway. The Agreement will be in the form of a local land charge to the property to be transferred if the property is ever sold. Short Frontage Agreements cannot be considered in front of the front door.


    Clearly, the government must have also allowed for this in their revised guidelines back in 2007. Can someone help me as to how to go about exploring this avenue with my council?

    Should I go to my local councillor and explain the situation? Is their a legal avenue here?

    Is each council allowed to implement whatever rules they want?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 30th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    Can someone help me as to how to go about exploring this avenue with my council?

    Should I go to my local councillor and explain the situation? Is their a legal avenue here?

    Is each council allowed to implement whatever rules they want?
    Originally posted by kkudi
    You can only ask, but it really doesn't matter what goes on in other councils. Your council have set their own rules and your plans don't comply. You can appeal of course, but it will probably take a lot of time and if you go down a legal avenue, a lot of money with no guarantee of the outcome you want. The only outcome that would suit your situation would be the council relaxing their rules entirely, possibly leading to a number of new applications.
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 30th Jun 17, 11:57 AM
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    kkudi
    Sure, but how is it that different councils have different dimensions if there was a review conducted by the government in 2007?

    I would have thought there would be some consistency between guidelines set by the government and all the councils which implement these guidelines?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 30th Jun 17, 12:07 PM
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    • 884 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Sure, but how is it that different councils have different dimensions if there was a review conducted by the government in 2007?

    I would have thought there would be some consistency between guidelines set by the government and all the councils which implement these guidelines?
    Originally posted by kkudi
    What was the review? Do you have a copy of it or know where it is online? It may have simply been guidance from the government that devolved responsibility to individual councils as long as broad principles were kept. You've used the word "guidelines" yourself. Guidelines are just that: a guide. If central government imposed consistent rules on every council, they would be national rules rather than guidelines.

    I suspect that your council have adopted their own policy which is in keeping with government guidelines and which they consider is appropriate for their area, knowing the housing/street mix and layout. They would have settled on the measurements quoted for a reason, not just arbitrarily.
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 6th Jul 17, 12:46 PM
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    kkudi
    Just to give everyone an update, after giving examples of other councils with more relaxed rules as long as owner+council enter into a formal agreement (Short Frontage agreement) in the form of a land charge, the council has decided to put this forward for the Cabinet member responsible for parking and highways.

    The meeting will be held at the end of the month.

    Could be a breakthrough, could be not.

    I will keep you all posted.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jul 17, 12:50 PM
    • 59,233 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    If that doesn't work out .... how'd your house look without the bay window?
    • kkudi
    • By kkudi 6th Jul 17, 1:19 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kkudi
    I've thought about that, getting rid of the bay window, and reducing my living room length by 60cm...

    It would allow me to drop the kerb as per the current guidelines.

    But in my opinion, that's too desperate in my opinion and will make the house look significantly different. Mind you there are a couple of houses on the street without bay windows that don't look too odd, but I think it will decrease the house value as it will make it look different from the rest on the terrace(terrace of 4 houses).

    Besides, I don't even know if I'd need planning permission to alter the front of the house...
    Last edited by kkudi; 06-07-2017 at 1:22 PM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Jul 17, 1:49 PM
    • 22,637 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Besides, I don't even know if I'd need planning permission to alter the front of the house...
    Originally posted by kkudi
    Definitely.

    Alterations to the rear may be permitted development, but street frontages are treated differently.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 6th Jul 17, 4:40 PM
    • 1,396 Posts
    • 1,427 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Just to give everyone an update, after giving examples of other councils with more relaxed rules as long as owner+council enter into a formal agreement (Short Frontage agreement) in the form of a land charge, the council has decided to put this forward for the Cabinet member responsible for parking and highways.
    Originally posted by kkudi
    You might be lucky, but some councils who adopted the short frontage agreement approach have had problems with it. Also bear in mind you will almost certainly have to pay the substantial costs of getting the agreement made, and it will be something future purchasers of your property may find off-putting.

    Addressing some of your other points -

    I suspect the 2007 'guidlines' you refer to releate to the change in building regulations regarding impermeable surfaces. This was as a result of several flooding incidents in which people paving over their front gardens for parking was blamed for making the flooding worse. There are guidelines about minimising the percentage of the front garden which is paved over, but as far as I know this did not introduce a minimum depth of frontage (bay length). Many councils reviewed their dropped kerb parking policies around that time in order to address the impermeable paving issue.

    Council's tend to fall into two camps when it comes to CPZ's. Some like to provide the maximum restrictions possible because it generates maximum revenue and keeps things simple. Others will only restrict as necessary to minimise the adverse impact on residents. 'One-hour' or 'Two-hour' zones are normally used where the parking problem is commuters using a local station on weekdays. 'All day' zones are normally used where there are town-centre type facilities which attract shoppers all day long, and sometimes near stations and other sites where evening or weekend travelling/parking is likely.

    For residents the advantage of 'hour' zones is that visitors and tradesmen can park for free outside of the restricted hours, whilst commuters and workers are excluded.

    Whether or not you will get the council to extend the CPZ hours will depend on the type of parking problem (the 'attractor') and whether other people in the CPZ also feel it should be extended. If the parking problem is worst at the weekends (especially Saturdays) then it implies that the parking is either by residents or by people using a local station to travel to a town centre or 'event' destination. If there is no town centre, station, or busy bus route nearby then it will be resident parking - in which case extending the CPZ hours will be a waste of time.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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