Author Topic: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive  (Read 3434 times)

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mickeybok

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Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« on: January 21, 2017, 03:11:22 pm »
Hi,
Could someone please tell me if there is a minimum distance required between the front of a garage and a drive please?

The reason why I ask is that I have recently bought a new house and a double garage has been built outside my house and to the left of my drive, these are for the houses being built opposite us.

The front of the garage is now 3.8m from my drive, which means that a medium sized car, like my Skoda Octavia, overhangs my drive by about a meter, making it very difficult if not impossible for me to park on my drive when a car is parked outside the garage.

I have spoken to the area site manager and he said there was nothing wrong so I contacted the council, they came out with plans that show the garage should have been built one metre further back from where it has been built. I then spoke to the area site manager again and showed him the plans, he just said it hasn’t been built in the wrong place. He later told me that they were putting in for retrospective planning permission for the garage.
Any advice would be appreciated.
 


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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 09:27:59 am »
For a start name the builder that is behaving so badly!
Other new homebuyers need to be warned.

The garage is clearly in the wrong place as otherwise it would not be necessary for the builder to apply for retrospective planning permission.  When they do you should object on the grounds that the space is not sufficient for you to park your car. 
A list of car sizes can be found here which might be useful to you.

The standard car space is 2.4m x 4.8m. Normally to allow for the door to open a drive is 6m long from the garage door.

Without a plan, it is difficult for me to comment further.
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mickeybok

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 10:03:21 pm »
The builder is Charles Church (Persimmon), the site is Feethams Green in Darlington and I have been trying to attach the plans to show you but for some reason I keep getting the message 'The upload folder is full' any ideas what I can do?

   




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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 06:23:19 am »
It should be fine now I've increased the folder capacity.
You may also need to re size your pictures.
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mickeybok

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 08:42:09 am »
As a follow up to my first post on the distance from someone else's garage to our drive, you asked me to name the builders, they are Charles Church (Persimmon) on a site called Feethams Green in Darlington.
I have attached the plans that Darlington Borough Council have given me, along with a photograph of the garage and my car parked in front of it.

As you can see on the plans, if you draw a line along the front of the garages the line would go straight through the gap between the two houses opposite. But as you can see on the photograph the front of the garages is approximately one metre forward, in line with the house on the right.
After speaking to the council they suggested that I write a letter to Charles Church outlining what I believe is the problem. So I sent them my letter 3 weeks ago and no surprises, I am still waiting for a reply. 

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 09:00:08 am »
Ah now I see.

  • The drive should be 6 metres long to stop your drive being obscured.
  • From your photograph it measures just 3.8 metre - that's 1 metre less than a standard car parking space! (4.8m)
  • The corner of the other drive should not be encroach into your drive access at all.
  • The garage has definitely been built too far forward or too large.
  • It would be interesting to see how the rear doors to these garages (if they exist) open against that boundary.
  • The fence line in your rear garden shows it lining up with the gable wall of your house.
    Surely it should be to the left of your access footpath?(as is the case with 17/18 and 16/17)

This is a problem as the garages are right on the development boundary. Apart from making the garages smaller and/or compensating you quite considerably, Persimmon probably won't be able to resolve this now as the owners of the garages would object to having a smaller garage.

I hope you didn't use Persimmon's 'recommended' or 'preferred' solicitor, as you will find out why that's a really bad idea!
See this Persimmon case: homeowner unable to sell her house after bungle gives neighbour half her bedroom



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mickeybok

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 05:35:28 pm »
Thank you for your appraisal of the problems I have with my drive.
Since my last posting I have had a reply from Charles Church to let me know that they have received my complaint letter and will be having a meeting about it soon, before letting me know what they intend to do, which should be interesting.

Having read your comments I have a number of questions as well as a few answers for you so I thought that I should go through each of the bullet points you made one by one:

1.   You say the drive should be 6metres long to stop my drive from being obscured." Is this measurement a legal requirement? Because even if they moved the garage back to where it should be, according to the council's plans, it would only be 4.8m and there isn’t enough room behind the garage to move it back another 1.5m?   
2.   If 4.8m is a "standard car parking space" how can the area site manager say "there is nothing wrong with it" when it is only 3.8m?
3.   I couldn't understand what you meant by this comment "the corner of the other drive should not encroach into your drive access at all’. Which other drive?
4.   I totally agree with you here, it has been built too far forward, I don’t think it is too large though, otherwise it would be touching the boundary wall at the rear.
5.   The plans show doors at the back of each garage but there are no doors in the garage at the rear.
6.   The plan is wrong, our fence line is about a metre to the left of the gable wall and we have a footpath along that wall into our garden.

I have read some of your other posts and I realise that it is not a good idea to use Persimmon's recommended solicitors, but I’m afraid we did because of the £1,000 given toward legal costs.
As I said at the beginning, I will wait to see what 'solution' Charles Church come up with before taking it further.
Their first 'solution' was to lay a strip about 2 feet wide of block paving to the left of our drive, which is currently grassed, as if this would make any difference at all! 
I have also attached their second 'solution', which is actually two in one.
The first shows my car parked on its drive and a new drive built for the car in plot 11, so that no car would then be allowed to park in front of the near side garage drive.
The second shows an extended drive to the right with my car parked on it so that I could drive out at an angle, I have already told them that they are cheap, quick fix solutions to suit themselves.
 
I did offer my solution within my letter to them, which was to knock down the garage and re-design the two houses opposite to include integrated garages, this might sound out of the question but it would solve the problem and, if they had replied to my first letter back in June 16 instead of ignoring it for 3 months, they had not laid a brick of either house at the time.

Also, no one has bought either house yet, partly because the lady in the sales office is telling them that there are parking issues, which is bound to put people off.
Could I also ask you, do the council have any clout when it comes to this kind of situation?
Because they seem to be reluctant to get involved.
Thanks for the lawyers telephone number, I might be giving him a call soon.

Thanks, Michael.


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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 07:37:11 am »
Firstly, I can't begin to say how disappointed I am that you took Charles Churches "bribe" of £1,000 legal costs to use their pet solicitor.  That now is a very expensive mistake.
This is why I bang on about it NEVER being a good idea to use the housebuilder's nominated or recommended solicitor, no matter what they tell you, or how much they offer you.

As for your points:
  • The 6m long drive at a garage is good practice as it is 4.8m for the car plus 1.2 to allow the garage up and over door to be opened with the car parked on the driveway.
  • The plans approved by the Council is for 4.8m then that is what it should be.
  • The corner of the small drive adjacent to your drive encroaches because it is not long enough!
  • No doors at the back of the garages but shown on the plans means incorrect.
  • By your own admission, the boundary shown on this plan is wrong. This could cause you a real problem when you come to sell if it is not right on the Title Deeds Legal plan. Needs checking!

My solution is simple now I know the homes which these garages are for have yet to be sold.
Demolish the garages altogether and sell the other homes without garages.
This is the only solution I would accept.

The current "solutions" may or may not work, but deprive you of garden area. If you accept these or a combination you should ask for £15,000 as well as compensation.

You really need to get legal advice quickly before the houses get sold making the best solution impossible.
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mickeybok

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 05:20:51 pm »
I thought it was time to bring you up to date on this problem I am having regarding the double garages outside my house.

Since my last post, Charles Church have replied to my letter rejecting everything that I said to them regarding what had been said to me about the parking situation.
However, they did admit to 're-positioning' the garages, in other words 'they built them in the wrong place.
So with this admission, which my solicitor called 'Gold Dust', I contacted the council, expecting them to come down on Charles Church like the proverbial 'ton of bricks' and tell them to get the garage pulled down, but nothing happened!

So I asked the planning officer this question:
"These garages have now been built, by Charles Church own admission, in the incorrect position, without the correct planning permission for over two years now.
They have shown no intention of applying for the correct planning permission and really, should not have built them without the correct planning permission, so isn't there a time limit before they should be automatically taken down?"

This was their reply
"There is not a timescale for any unauthorised works to be taken down but there is a timescale for when unauthorised works become immune from enforcement action, which is four years after completion."

So, does this mean that anyone can put up a building, without planning permission and as long as no one notices or complains within 4 years, you've got away with it?

Anyway, the two houses opposite us who own the garages have been sold, so I contacted the new owners, told them about the situation and that there was no planning permission in place for the garages. Within a week  Charles Church had applied for planning permission, after ignoring me for a year.

Myself and other residents in the area, are now going to object to the planning permission.
But wouldn't you have thought that the council should have told them to pull the garages down, it is beyond belief that they have allowed them to apply for retrospective permission and only encourages builders to do whatever they want in the knowledge that they are likely to get away with it.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this. 

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Re: Distance from someone else's garage to our drive
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 09:05:46 am »
1) The four year rule only applies to planning conditions and work not in full accordance with approved plans, such as garages not built in the right place.  You cannot build a house in a forest, without any planning and then just wait four years to be untouchable.

2) Retrospective planning permission is often used when builders make mistakes. As part of the process, you have a right to object to it and I would advise you to do so. Clearly the current location of these garages impinges on your property and your enjoyment of your property.  That in itself should be enough for the application to be rejected and for the council to take enforcement action.
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