Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
Not all this query is motoring related but hopefully there will be people here with the experience to offer suitable advice or at least point me in the right direction.

Quick summary: Parking in my street is becoming a right pain. I live in the end terrace and there is a patch of waste land beside my garden which I am considering buying, partly to extend the garden and partly to provide some parking space. There is a passage down the side of the house wide enough for a car and over which I'm told we have a right of access.

First (and on topic!) question is how much space is it reasonable to allow for a parking bay? I drive an old-style Yaris and SWMBO drives a Saxo although we want to allow for the possibility of one car being 'upgraded' to something a little larger should our situation change - say Focus size. I've been sketching things out and was allowing between 9 and 10 foot wide and 13 to 14 foot long if it was two individual bays, or about 16-17 foot wide and 14 foot long for a twin bay. Does this sound reasonable? What about gate openings - what is a good idea for a minimum opening to try and navigate through? Also, is planning permission likely to be needed for any of this? We may be about to become a conservation area but the land in question is tucked away to the rear of the houses and is not on a road which I think limits the impact of this.

The other part of the query involves actually buying the land. First query is what am I likely to be looking at cost-wise? I have estimated the area at about 500 square feet. Secondly, is the purchase something I can do myself, or am I better instructing a solicitor? If I can do it, what do I need to bear in mind? If I need a solicitor, how much is that likely to add to the bill? And when it comes to buying it, how do I find out who it actually belongs to? A neighbour reckons it belongs to the four houses who back on to it but other than paying the Land Registry for details of all 4 houses, is there any way I can confirm this? Also, the land is probably leasehold (there is an issue that the leaseholder is no longer interested in collecting the ground rent but I'm not sure what the case is there). Does this make things any harder?

Any advice is appreciated!
Parking - how much space + related topic - Xileno {P}
Ideally you need to allow space to turn the car around once it's on the drive since it's an offence to reverse out onto the road. Otherwise you will need to reverse in. There are regulations concerning how close a gate can be to the road. I would get a solicitor on the case as they should know all the regs etc.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Stuartli
>>since it's an offence to reverse out onto the road. Otherwise you will need to reverse in. >>

Then probably 90 per cent of the car owning population is breaking the law...:-)

You can buy turntables to allow cars to be turned round in narrow garden path areas but it would seem a bit drastic in this case.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
There probably will be space to turn around as the passageway we'd drive down widens at the end (to just over 20 foot) so turning will be possible, if tricky. Backing in is more likely if necessary, but as we live on a quiet cul-de-sac I'm not sure it will be a problem.

The gate is nowhere near a road - it is in effect at the back of the house and we'd drive down the side to get to it.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Clanger
... since it's an offence to reverse out onto the road.



HC says "177: Do not reverse from a side road into a main road. When using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if you can".

It's a recommendation, not a *must* although I'd prefer to see less backing out into the road.

Hawkeye
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Stranger in a strange land
Parking - how much space + related topic - JamesH
How constrained are you by the 13-14 feet? Allowing for something a little bigger than the Focus, the current Mondeo hatch is 15 and a half feet long. No doubt the next Focus will be bigger than the current one. The current one is over 14 feet long.

If the drive is only 14 feet long, would the car be parked right up against a wall at the back. Then, even with the front bumper out of the drive (on the footpath) you would struggle to get anything in the boot.

But then again, your drive wouldn't be that much different to many modern properties, where the size given is not really big enough for modern cars, garages being the worst culprits. 16-17 feet wide and you may fit a car on sideways, adding value for potential future buyers. Hopefully no-one will block your drive, so you would also get the space on the road in front of it all to yourself or guests, provided yellow lines don't go down.

James

Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
I'm basically trying to find the best compromise between providing enough space for future requirements and not taking up all the new land with parking. (A bigger garden is as important to me as parking!) Also, as the house is only a 2 up, 2 down terrace I think we'll reach the point where a new house is needed before we reach the point of needing a really big car.

What are the rules regarding blocking access out of interest? You do occasionally get people parking in the passageway at the moment, mainly due to lack of parking spaces on the road. Hopefully if we free two up then this won't be an issue, but also hopefully people will have the sense not to block us in. However, it's something I'd be interested to know about - if we do get blocked in, what recourse do we have to get the car moved and us out?

(To clarify what many people appear to be missing, the parking area would be to the rear of the house, not the road side (there is only a foot path at the rear) and is accessed down a passageway beside the house)
Parking - how much space + related topic - rtj70
Obstructing a drive to get in is not an offence, but getting out I think is... someone more knowledgable will be along in a moment.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Quinny100
Another thing to bear in mind is that as the land would not be part of your own domestic curtilage, creation of a hardstanding for parking may require planning permission, and if the road is classified and you are creating an access onto the highway you will also require consent and the highway authority will almost certainly reccomend refusal if you cannot drive straight in and out.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Aretas
Don't quote me on this but I believe it is an offence to block an entrance where the kerb has been dropped. We had an access problem to our house and asked the council to widen the length of the kerb drop (paid for by us). No-one parks in front of it.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Altea Ego
Before you start rushing down the path of how much are gates, how much room do I need, and reversing in or out you have the issue of aquiring the land,

Its not going to be an easy matter from the sound of it. To buy it you need to know who owns it and who to buy it from, and it sounds like ownership will be hard to prove. you may have to lay a claim on it, which i understand takes years.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Parking - how much space + related topic - daveyjp
"it belongs to the four houses who back on to it but other than paying the Land Registry for details of all 4 houses, is there any way I can confirm this"

You don't need four searches you need one search on the piece of land you are enquiring about - cost is £3 and you may be able to do it online.

Start here:

www.landregisteronline.gov.uk/
Parking - how much space + related topic - Brit_in_Germany
And also, even if you have a right of access, this may not extend to driving a motor vehicle over the land in question. We used to live adjacent a common and although the owners of the houses had the right to access their properties, this right did not extend to them driving from the road to the house.

BIG
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
I don't suppose you can say that first part again, explaining what a domestic curtilage is please? :)
Parking - how much space + related topic - cockle {P}
Teapot, would suggest a call to your local council planning dept before you go to the expense of starting to instruct solicitors for land purchase.

The problem may be whether you can have a crossover to give you access, as others have said there can be an issue about reversing and turning.
Our local council, for instance, has a policy of not allowing crossovers if there is insufficient room to turn entirely within your own property but this only applies to certain 'main' roads, other side roads are left alone for the householder to decide whether he drives on or off or reverses on or off. If this is the case they will tell you what they regard as the minimum space requirements, they tend to work to a standard size rather than what vehicle you happen to have at the moment.
The council might also have guidelines as to what they allow in certain 'street scenes', in some streets they like retention of part of garden walling, in others they like gates. Your council should have a duty planner who can take your queries over the phone and give you some guidance, for the cost of a phone call you might save a lot of grief, alternatively you will be able to steel yourself for a battle.

With respect to the land itself you can find out who has, or if there is, an interest in it from the Land Registry quite simply by sending them a map with the boundaries marked of the land in which you are interested if it doesn't fall under a single address. Details are on their website and fees are quite reasonable from £3 up to £20 depending on what you want.

Good luck!
Parking - how much space + related topic - s61sw
Ref reversing out of your driveway - the Local Authority where I live has a policy on this, in that any application to create a driveway/vehicle standing that has access to a 'local distributer' road (for instance, one where a bus service might run) must prove that access to the road from the property be gained by the vehicle moving forward. In other words, if you don't have space for a turning circle or turning head, the application will be refused.

S6 1SW
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
I think I will be safe on the reversing out aspect unless our LA is very strict - as I've commented elsewhere, we are on a very quiet cul-de-sac. Traffic volumes and passing traffic won't be an issue and people have to back down the road to turn in the passageway beside my house anyway so if the LA objects to me backing out there is something wrong!
Parking - how much space + related topic - Clanger
if you
don't have space for a turning circle or turning head,


Not even allowed to reverse in and drive out forwards?
Hawkeye
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Stranger in a strange land
Parking - how much space + related topic - Stuartli
>>In other words, if you don't have space for a turning circle or turning head, the application will be refused.>>

This is something that, to be honest, I've never come across.

How people enter and leave their driveway in a vehicle is, I would have thought, entirely at their discretion.

Who would check out any breaches of such a requirement? There are more than 400 miles of roads in my town of a modest 80,000 plus population and nobody has ever, to my knowledge, been challenged on behalf of the council for reversing out of their drive.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Parking - how much space + related topic - Baskerville
Who would check out any breaches of such a requirement?


Insurance companies investigating a claim against them perhaps?
Parking - how much space + related topic - Stuartli
>>Insurance companies investigating a claim against them perhaps?>>

A good point, but I was referring to council jobsworths...:-)

No doubt the Guardian will soon be full of local council advertisements for "Abuse of vehicle reverse gear co-ordinator" required - salary to be negotiated, depending on experience, of between £30k and £50k.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
Any advice on the best way to get in touch with the planning department? I did email them about this asking in general whether planning permission would be required. However, I have not had a reply 3 or 4 weeks later. Whether a phone call is more likely to get a response than an email I don't know but surely you can explain and send diagrams easier via email.

As I've said elsewhere, hopefully the fact we are on a cul-de-sac and people have to reverse the length of the road to turn will mean that reversing out on to the road itself isn't an issue.

I've looked on the land registry site but I can see no way to enquire about anything other than a specific address. I'll look again though.
Parking - how much space + related topic - daveyjp
Far better to visit your planning department and see the duty planning officer.

As for land registry, you may need to carry out a search of the Index Map first. Forms are available, but you may need an OS map base at 1:2500 or 1:1250 to send with it.
www.landregistry.gov.uk/assets/library/documents/s...f
Parking - how much space + related topic - mare
I've looked on the land registry site but I can see
no way to enquire about anything other than a specific address.
I'll look again though.


use the "map enquiry" on the LR link that Stuart gave you.

By the way, the accepted size for a parking bay, rightly or wrongly, is 4.8m x 2.4m. As far as I know that is not defined or set out anywhere, but it is the customary size for a parking bay. My neighbour was refused planning for converting their front garden to a parking bay because it was only 4.7m long.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
That seems a bit daft - 2.4m (8 feet) is a bit tight I would have said to open the door and get out of most cars, yet 16 foot is longer than anything but a fairly large family car. Anyway, surely it is up to the owner to decide what suits their needs best? Possibly your neighbour had permission refused as there was potential a car would overhang on to the pavement? That would not be an issue here as the area would be gated and the gate would be a few feet inside the area I would own anyway but I'll see what the planning people say...
Parking - how much space + related topic - s61sw
Any advice on the best way to get in touch with the planning department?

Yep, go in person to the Planning Office (in Yellow Pages, probably under Enviromental Services) and ask to see the Planning Officer for the area where you live. It would be useful if you had a plan (to scale) of your proposal to talk over. Most Local Authorities try to be 'user friendly' when it comes to initial enquiries like this.

S6 1SW
Parking - how much space + related topic - artful dodger {P}
>>I did email them about this asking in general whether planning permission would be required. However, I have not had a reply 3 or 4 weeks later.

You are asking them for an opinion in writing, that could be used against them at a later date. You are best to go and have a chat, they are very helpful. If you find this difficult then find out who to email to, send your proposal with plans to that individual, then telephone and have a chat.

You will certainly need legal permission from the council to cross the pavement and have drop kerb installed by an approved council contractor. This will cost about £800 to £1000, as a neighbour had this done recently. He has enough room for 2 cars on his front garden, which cost him just over £2000 incl the dropped kerb, doing most of the block laying with a builder friend. He had his property valued before and after the job, it increased by £4000 (I am in NW Kent).

A dropped kerb does not give you any rights to guarantee you access to your property. However if you are trying to leave your property and have been blocked in, that person is causing an obstruction and can get a ticket from the Police. Where you have the dropped kerb you might be able to get a white line painted, that will usually stop anyone blocking it.

You mention the property is an old 2 up 2 down end of terrace. This would certainly predate the Land Registry records, so all properties would have been registered when they have been sold. If the patch of land is outside the existing boundaries, there may be a chance it has never been registered. If this is the case then try and register it in your name, you might get it for very little. Some years ago I nearly bought a property that had joint access to the rear, between them. One property had been owned for over 50 years by one man, the other had been sold only a few years earlier. At the time of the earlier sale neither property had been registered. During the sale the access road was completely registered to that property and stopping legal access for the other property without the other owners permission.

You will have to judge whether the expense of purchasing the land, obtaining the legal permission is worth the effort and cost compared to the increase in value to your house. Best of luck.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Teapot42
Luckily, I won't actually be crossing a pavement so this expense would be saved. The pavement does not actually cross the passageway - it breaks at both sides - which I guess would at least indicate that vehicle access is intended. This land has also been used in the past for parking - one person put a garage up which is still there but is in a very poor state and has not been used for a number of years. (I was hoping to use this as a way to get the price down for that part of the land - it needs removing so I would pay for that)

The increase in value of the house would be nice, the main bonus though would not be getting wound up when some moron has failed to engage brain when parking and has left 2/3 of a space either side of their car again. If people in this street thought when parking you could get another 3 or 4 cars in easily. However, it has reached the point where we often can only get one car in and on one occasion neither of us could get in.
Parking - how much space + related topic - Brit_in_Germany
Although not exactly relevant, the following shows the problems which can arise in determining access rights for parking.

www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2006/2908.html

BIG
 

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