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Oliver Price

Expert opinion: Garden Cities and Parking – a recipe for disaster in an urban idyll?

A recent survey by the AA found that 33 percent of neighbour disputes were car related, with blocked access to driveways, parking outside a neighbour’s house, and using a neighbour’s parking space without their permission listed as common causes of fallouts.

An announcement by the Chancellor in his budget may make this situation even worse.

George Osborne revealed that the first garden city in 100 years will be built at Ebbsfleet, Kent, to combat Britain’s housing shortage, with several other potential sites in mind for future developments.

The building of a large number of new homes in a relatively small area is likely to lead to more neighbour disputes over car parking spaces than ever.

It is hoped that lower build densities might alleviate this. However, as land prices remain high and if current development sets the pattern, this might not be so.

The law in this area recognises that unless there are local parking restrictions giving a right to a particular space, residents do not have automatic rights to a parking space on a public road.

However, they do have a right of access to their own drive and if this is a shared drive, then each neighbour has a right of access which neither should block.

In many cases though, the number of cars is so high that neighbours end up in conflict with each other.

If you are involved in a dispute with a neighbour over car parking spaces, whether or not it is in a new garden city, it can be difficult to establish what your rights are.

This is important not only because of ease of use, but these disputes can easily devalue significantly what is often a homeowner’s greatest asset.

Wansbroughs are familiar with handling this sort of situation, having successfully acted for a property owner in the recent leading Court of Appeal case of Parshall v Hackney (2013).

If you are struggling with the difficulties of parking disputes please contact Oliver Price on 01380 733318.