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Shared Private Driveway Planning Requirements

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by MissManagement, 25 Oct 2009.

  1. MissManagement

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    Hi

    I have a question regarding a situation that I currently have.

    I brought a house and have a number of issues with the builder.

    One of the issues relates to a shared private drive with 6 other houses using the same common drive. This shared drive ultimately ends as the driveway up to my garage at the end of the shared drive. When I brought the house I was told that the builder would build a turning area on my property so that guests and myself can 3 point turn the cars around before returning down the shared private drive. I should mention that the shared private drive was part of a development and is one car wide.

    The builder did not finish the drive as was initially promised, so that I have to reverse my car approximately 100 metres passed all the other houses (or use their drive to turn around in - not popular though!). The shared private drive also has some shallow radius turns in it and is unlit. This makes it especially difficult for unfamiliar guests to judge at night.

    The development initially was refused by the local authority but was approved by the Department of Environment on appeal. When I quizzed the Local Authority highways department, they said that they would not have allowed such a poor design to be accepted.

    What I would like to know is in two parts:

    1. Are there any statutory or planning requirements regarding an area for turning a vehicle around on a drive including minimum dimensions and maximum distances you can reverse a car etc, and

    2. If the builder sticks to the their guns and won't now build the turning area (if there is sufficient room anyway?), can I hold someone responsible and take legal action against them for allowing a ridiculous design to be approved? I certainly would not have brought the property had I known that the builder would not create the promised turning area.

    I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
     
  2. big-all

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    heeelllooo and welcome MissManagement :D :D :D

    your gripe is with the builder
    if its a requirement to have a turning circle to use the space the you must provide a turning circle or they may stop you using the drive unless you back in and drive out :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  3. ^woody^

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    The development should be built in accordance with the planning permission and any conditions. If a turning place was stipulated in the application or specified in the permission, then it should be built.

    Any guidelines for vehicular movement normally apply for movement on and to/from public highways, and not private drives - unless the drive becomes (or will become) adopted by the local authority

    No, you can't take leal action against rediculous designs (well you could, but would not be sucessful). But you may have a claim in contract against the builder if he did not carry out things which were promised
     
  4. freddymercurystwin

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    The builder is obliged to build what the approved plans show. What do they show? Did you see them or did you just take the developer at his word. You will be able to inspect them at your local authority’s planning department. If the developer has not built what he promised I would think that is your port of call. Road guides are county specific although largely the same, you will probably find one online on your county’s .gov website eg here’s is the one for Devon http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/envir...ications/planningform/highwaysdesignguide.htm
     
  5. MissManagement

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    Thanks guys for the warm reception.

    The gripe is made even more pressing by virtue of the fact that due to another construction issue they are looking to reduce the width of the current driveway area further. At the moment vehicles can turn around on some of the grass at the front of the property but they are now going to have to lower this level by approximately 18 inches!!! Thus where cars are making the 3 point turn (if no other cars are on the driveway) will then become a 7 point turn. As you can imagine far from ideal!

    As far as I'm aware, it is to remain a 'Private Drive' and I do not believe that the Local Authority would wish to accept charge of an unlit private shared driveway.

    I would imagine that by taking the builder to task through the courts, I would merely end up with a small compensation for the loss of use of the promised turning area, now that the size of the the area is being reduced further by this remedial works. To be honest, I'm not bothered about a payout, it's more the fact that I can't believe a new development would be allowed through planning and highways with such a glaring design flaw. As mentioined above the person I spoke to at Highways immediately said that that was a ridiculous design but yet the Department of the Environment allowed it to pass. Therefore the LA are absolving all responsibility for it as it was not under their jurisdiction.

    Very frustrating that builders can get away with putting designs in that are completely impractical and yet they can still get passed. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the unfortunate reality check though. I was hoping that the law/rules wouldn't be as the saying goes 'an ass'.
     
  6. MissManagement

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    PS to FreddyMercurysTwin

    Unfortunately, I have inspected the Local Authority's plans but as it was appealled against by the developer and approved by the Secretary for the Environment, the Local Authority does not have the passed plans available as they were not involved in the appeal stage.

    Apparently, there were a number of amendments, so I have no cast iron facts on whether or not a turning circle was added. All I know is that there was no turning area specified on the original plans. It was originally rejected by the Local Authority due to overcrowding.
     
  7. ^woody^

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    When a application goes to appeal, the original plans are used, not any different ones. The appellant is appealing on the decision, not making a new application with different plans

    So, the LA will have copies of the plans. And they will have notes of their comments and those of the builders too.

    However, some appeal documents and decision should be online at the planning inspectorate

    You will have to check your purchase contract to see what you were buying. If you were buying "off-plan" then you will have to accept that certain changes in the final design may occur. Otherwise if you are buying a house with a turning circle, then that is what you should get - in the same way that you are buying a house with a roof, and you'd be right to be upset if the roof is left off
     
  8. freddymercurystwin

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    Drawings which have been approved for planning are 'in the public domain' that is to say that any member of the public has the legal right to view such documents. Any amendments to the application must have gone through the local planning authority not the secretary of state. Who told you otherwise? You will need to persevere with the planners in your search for the approved drawings.
     
  9. Tipper

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    Most LA's have an online planning system where you can access/view their planning files, the applications, details and decisions.
     
  10. Totallyfedup

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    We have a very similar issue, we also live on a private drive with 4 other properties, it has been built to specification, so we now learn but it is only the width of one car, the site plan was very misleading.

    Our problem now is that the builder is refusing to top off the drive until all houses are finished there are around 100 still left currently being built at around 20 per year!

    This wouldn't be too much of a problem if they hadn't dug the whole drive up to connect the sewage pipes which they forgot to do when they built the houses. Or if they had put it in so my car doesn't scrape every time I drive up to my house. Or if they didn't have gaffer tape securing the water meters. I could go on and on.

    We eventually got fed up and involved NHBC, who have been great, they work on behalf of the home owner. They have the builder a date, which was last Friday to finish the work or they come and do it. Fingers crossed it will be done soon.

    If you go onto their website you can access the resolution centre, put the problems on there and they will come to your property with a representaive from the builder, I would suggest getting your neighbours involved too.

    Other than that we have found threats of going to the papers also helps. Good luck!
     

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