Pickles Backs Homeowners Who Rent Out Driveways

car parkCommunities secretary Eric Pickles has said he is in favour of homeowners renting out their driveways to motorists in a bid to combat increasing parking charges.

It’s not a new idea and there’s even a website which matches homeowners to drivers, but some local authorities are threatening fines of up to £20,000 unless the homeowner pays for planning permission for change of use. As we posted last week, some councils are raking in huge surpluses from parking charges and it appears that they’re quite keen to hang onto it.

New guidelines from the government will mean that homeowners can rent out their drives for a single car without making a planning application provided there is no public nuisance to neighbours, or other substantive concerns.

But if you’re thinking of concreting over your garden to create a car park it’s likely to be frowned upon by the council, not to mention breaking the golden rule of not pissing off one’s neighbours. RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister, said:

“If people can rent out a bedroom to a lodger then, within reason, why not let them lease out space on their drive? It is hardly a change of use. Surely, if we can reduce congestion on the streets, then councils should be rejoicing rather than moaning?”

Photo by Laura McGregor in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • Miko

    Surely, if we can reduce congestion on the streets, then councils should be rejoicing rather than moaning?

    But it would not reduce congestion. On the contrary. Just like renting bedrooms via – let’s say – Airbnb stimulates tourism, offering extra parking space encourages people to drive. And that, even a motoring lobby professor will agree, increases congestion.

    • BethPH

      I interpreted that as reducing parking congestion on the roads, i.e. helping prevent people parking on streets with no restrictions.

      • Miko

        But nobody says that letting people rent out their driveways would be accompanied by reducing parking space on streets. So the streets would still be cluttered with parking cars. And with more parking space the traffic would increase.