converting part of garden to a drive

Hi
I googled but couldn't find anything tht really matched my question.
I have a new townhouse (3 years old) that has an integral garage and driveway that is big enough for one car. next to the drive is a flaged path and then a small patch of grass (about 1.5m wide by 4m long). My idea was to convert the path and grass to another parking space. The only problem is that there is a lamp post at the bottom of the garden so access to the new space would be only available when there was not another car in the existing drive. Contacted the council about a possible lamp post move but they have not adopted the street along with the lights yet. So contacted the developer who is currently responsible, They said they would not move it as it was already agreed by planning as the location of that lamp post. They then went on to say that our house only had planning for a single drive. That was it, end of story as far as they were concerned.
Does anyone know where I stand with this? I am not too worried about the lamp post, that can stay if it cannot be moved but I cant believe I cant dig up some grass and replace it with say concrete (not that I would). Other people have done their gardens, ie. rockery, all gravel, trees and shrubs. Spoke to the neighbors about doing it and they think it is a great idea because it saves parking one car on the street, and the current flag/garden does not look pretty anyhow. Would probably block pave it so would look 10 times better. Various people(not experts) have suggested I go ahead and do it anyway.
What do you think?
Paul
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Check your deeds. You may need planning permission, or permission from the developer to remove a covenant. This is usually available, provided the developer has moved on. If they're still trying to sell houses, they will probably refuse, as people sticking ugly concrete/front garden walls/front extensions etc. can affect their sales.
Sometimes the convenants can be enforced by people other than the developer, such as your neighbours.
Christian.
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Paul ( Skiing8 ) wrote:

AFAIK, you cannot widen your driveway (ie. entrance onto the road) without permission from the council (or as it seems in your case, the developer). Some links + quotes:
http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/www/dev_con3/planning/Patios.asp
You will also need to apply for planning permission if:
a.. You propose to construct a new driveway or widen an existing driveway that provides access on to a trunk or classified road.
The Highways section will be able to tell you if the road you live on falls within the above category.
b.. You are constructing a driveway over an existing grass or other verge that does not currently form an approved means of access to your house. (note: this constitutes a change of use to the land and as such you will need to apply for planning permission).
You are advised to contact the Highways section within the Development and Environmental Services Department as you may need to obtain separate approval for the above.
http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/environment/planning/faqs.php
Do I need Planning Permission for a driveway? You do not need Planning Permission for the dropped kerb itself, but you may need permission for the creation of the access onto the road. This includes cases where there is a breach in a wall or hedge.
You will need Planning Permission in each of the following circumstances: 1.. If the access is onto a classifies road. 2.. If the access would cause a traffic safety problem. 3.. If the access is to be formed in connection with works which themselves require Planning Permission. 4.. If the access is not to be formed in connection with works which are classed as 'Permitted Development' (i.e. works which do not need Planning Permission). 5.. If the access is in connection with a property which is a flat or a maisonette. You may also need Planning Permission in the following cases: 1.. If you want to widen an existing access. 2.. If you are laying out a hardstanding (front parking area) and the property is not a single-family dwelling (it may be divided into flats for example) 3.. If when granted planning permission your house had a restrictive condition imposed removing the normal right to construct an access - you will need to check the planning history of your property to determine whether such a condition applies.
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driveway
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From reading the nottingham description it looks like I don't need permission as it would be classed as a hardstanding and it wont be used for parking of a commercial vehicle or for storing goods in connection with a business, and won't widen an existing driveway that provides access on to a trunk or classified road(its a cul-de-sac and the access will still be what is existing). and I am not constructing a driveway over an existing grass or other verge that does not currently form an approved means of access to your house.
From reading the London (I am not in london) site the only thing that I may have is a restrictive condition imposed removing the normal right to construct an access.
but, the links gave me an idea to look at my local councils website and.... Patios and driveways. There are no restrictions on the area of land around your house which you can cover with hard surfaces at, or near, ground level. However, significant works of embanking or terracing to support a hard surface might need a planning application. Alternatively, an elevated patio or decking, especially if it creates useable space underneath, might be regarded as an extension or garden building, and subject to the appropriate limits. You will also need to apply for planning permission if the hard surface is not to be used for domestic purposes and is to be used instead, for example, for parking a commercial vehicle or for storing goods in connection with a business. Ask the council if in doubt. You must obtain the separate approval of the highways department of your council if a new driveway would cross a pavement or verge. You will also need to apply for planning permission if you want to make a new or wider access for your driveway on to a trunk or other classified road. The highways department of your council can tell you if the road falls into this category.
So it looks like I am ok to do what I like with my little bit of grass. I think I have nothing to loose if I dig up the grass an create a pebble garden. I could then park on it and if anyone or the council or the developers complain then I just don't park on it. If nothing happens then I can pave it properly. And then try to sort out the lamp post problem later.
Paul
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I would say it is highly likely that the developer will have placed restrictive covenants over the property which will prevent you altering aspects of the external appearance without their permission. This may or may not relate to your parking/garden area, but the only way to be sure is to check the land register entry. Whoever did your conveyancing should have an office copy of this and should provide it to you free of charge. The last new house I bought said that I couldn't even paint the house a different colour without permission for 80 years after the original purchase. It also had restrictions on what I could park on my drive, which I actually thought was a good idea - no unsightly caravans in that close.
Al
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wrote:

This is probably true, I will check but I don't think I am allowed to build a wall or fence in the front, don't know about the back because previous owner and the two adjoining neighbours have put up a fence in the back.... although it is not overlooked by anyone else. Might also apply to a sky dish.... previous owner and a few others have put them up... thinking about moving mine anyhow to a place where it is not seen.
as far as altering gardens, many others have altered their's in far more extreme ways..... there is at least one other property that just has gravel in the place of the grass area although I have never noticed a car parked on it (although if there was because of the layout of the townhouses you wouldn't really notice)
The thing that I find really daft about the whole thing is that if I had the extra space then our two cars would be parked on them, instead of one of the cars being left in the street.... the street is already packed with cars in stupid spots so it is not like it is going to be an eyesore or anything to have two cars parked instead of a small patch of grass.
Paul
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That's true in your situation, because of the lamppost, but if you were to get the lamppost moved and drop the kerb all the way across, then you would be removing a bit of 'street' parking and replacing it with your own. At the moment anyone can park in front of that lamppost, but only you can park on your garden.
I can't see there being much of an issue if all you are doing is 'widening' your drive and leaving the kerb and access as it is.
Al
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wrote:

to
Ahhhh, I kinda missed a vital bit of info
The whole street/close/cul-de-sac whatever you want to call it is block paved and the curb is not really a curb, it is uniform wether it is a drive or not. And nobody can park in front of my little bit of garden(its only wide enough for a car widthways) in front of the lamp post because they would also have to block my drive and it would also block others in (I cannot also park in from of it and my drive because of this).
If I was to get the lamp post removed then the curb would not have to be altered at all because it is exactly the same as in front of the drive. In fact this is a good thing as I sometimes have to reverse over over the flagged path and a bit to the side to get out the drive if there is another car parked across the way. when I do this I am only inches from the lamp, this could be another good reason for removing it.... will stop me from crashing into it!
Paul
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Paul ( Skiing8 ) wrote:

How about getting a mate with a Volvo to accidentally reverse into it whilst turning around.... ;) Never know, you may succeed in getting it re-instated in your preferred location. Oink-oink-flap-flap.
David
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On Wed, 20 Apr 2005 10:40:10 +0100, "Paul \( Skiing8 \)"

There was a guy on "grand Designs" who just moved a lamp post one day, no paperwork, no permaission, no ask council
As they say at work, "its easier to ask for forgivness than permission"
Rick
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Rick wrote:

You work for the US Navy?
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q miral+grace+hopper+forgiveness&btnG=Search
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On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 21:23:24 GMT, John Stumbles

This phrase is in use most in the US office .........
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