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Driveway, Curtilage and Planning

Postby Paul Hannun » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:37 am

We park on land that we own directly in front of our house, currently laid to lawn. There is a wall between our house and this land - it goes: house, tall wall and land directly in front, then a public pavement and road. We own the grassed land area, it is within our boundary in the Land Registry Title Plan. We have to cut and maintain it. The local council knows we use the land for parking, we have a letter to that effect. The developer’s covenant from 25 years ago on the land is to keep it as an accessway.

We have been approved for a drop kerb directly in front of this land. We wish to change this grass to permeous hard standing, to be better for maintenance and parking. Because we use it for parking, we believe the land serves a purpose to our property in a useful manner (as per Sinclair-Lockharts). That’s important in terms of being included as curtilage because anything like laying a driveway would fall under permitted development.

The local council, however, state that they think our curtilage ends at the wall in front of our house, therefore they say our land at the front is outside of permitted development and we need planning permission, which off the record they have said they will refuse. We live in an area where 99% of the grass area is council owned, and it is unusual that the grass area belongs to us. People assume it is public land, even though it is not. There is no Article 4 on the land. What are our rights for laying the hardstanding on this area? Any advice welcome.
Paul Hannun
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