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Do I Need Permsission to Do Mechanical Work on My Driveway?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 29 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Business Residential Home Nuisance

Q.

Our neighbour is constantly harrassing my husband over every little thing that annoys him. Most points were so trivial we ignored him, or did what we could to minimise his frustration, but his newest complaint could have a direct effect on us, so we need to know where we stand legally.

We currently have 3 cars in our private driveway, but my husband regularly works on them himself, including full engine conversions, mainly during daylight hours. Our neighbour is arguing that we aren't allowed to do mechnical work on a car without planning permission?

I presumed that, seeing as they are all registered to my husband and on private ground, it's irrelevant, but I am now wondering if we're breaking some sort of environmental rules? I would really appreciate any advice you could give us, thanks.

(A.K, 10 March 2009)

A.

Your question raises a number of potential issues regarding your husband’s use of the property, and any trouble which your neighbour could cause you because of it.

You say that you currently have three cars parked on your private drive. From your description of your husband’s activities, and your neighbour’s complaints, it sounds as if this is an ongoing situation. The cars are registered in your husband’s name - but it is not clear whether he works on them as a hobby or whether he buys old cars, does them up and sells them on. You do not specify whether the private driveway is attached to your home or to business premises.

Presumably your neighbour’s complaint is that you are running a business from residential premises. If your husband works on the cars as a hobby, he is unlikely to need planning permission, but your neighbour could complain that the works cause a nuisance or other disturbance, which may Contravene Planning Regulations.

Running a Business from Residential Premises

Increasing numbers of people now run businesses from home. Whether they require planning permission will depend on the impact that their business activities have on the nature of the premises and the surrounding area. If a business has the effect of changing the nature of a property to such an extent that it is no longer primarily a residential property, or if it has an unacceptable impact on the surrounding area, planning permission may be required.

If the primary purpose of the premises is still to provide you and your husband with a home, and the business has no great impact on the surrounding area, he may not need planning permission. If any of the following apply, planning permission may be required:

  • Alterations have been made to the outside of the property and/or signs have been put up.
  • The business is carried out by people who do not live at the property or employees live there.
  • The business causes disturbance or a nuisance to neighbours. This could be due to: noise or smells caused by the works; customers or deliveries at the property; vehicles or other goods being stored at the premises; or works being carried out at Anti-Social Hours.
The above list is not exhaustive. If your neighbour were to complain to the local council - or they otherwise became aware of your husband’s activities - they could require him to apply for planning permission. Planning permission will only be granted if it is decided that the business does not unacceptably interfere with the residential nature of the surrounding area and could be granted with conditions. Where a business is run without planning permission councils may take legal action which could lead to a substantial fine.

If in doubt about your position, your local authority Planning Officer should be contacted for advice.

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My neighbour rents his house. He is a joiner and parks his eyesore of a van in the street. He has pedestrian access across our drive to his garden area. His landlady has recently moved abroad and since then he has started doing joinery work partly on my drive. I really object to him doing this work on a Sunday - he seems to bang his van doors constantly while taking wood out - this can be heard through the front rooms in our house. The back rooms of the house have the noise of his electric saws. I understood it was illegal to carry out noisy commercial work on a Sunday. He has also placed a cold frame on ground that we have vehicular access over - he's been asked to move it - there is a more convenient place but has not done so. If I or my husband speak to them we just get his wife at the door screaming and swearing. While I'm having a rant I might also add that he lets his dogs run all over our drive, they come snapping at us when we come out of out gate to get into the cars. Neighbours justvstand and glare at us. Any suggestions welcome. I'm not a moaner by nature, get on with all our neighbours apart from this lot who don't speak to anyone.
Jinty - 29-Jan-17 @ 4:05 PM
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Gipsy - 24-Jan-17 @ 4:05 AM
Niceone - Your Question:
Hi I'm having trouble with my neighbours over right of way into my garden which runs between mine and the said neighbours semi detached houses ,On my deeds it says that the people who I brought the house from had a deed of mutual grant. The said deed also grants rights of way over the land hatched blue on the filled plans,this registration takes effect subject there of.So a car could be parked in the garden ,the entry into the garden has double gates (which opens outwards ) My neighbours do not have parking in there garden but have a small raised path that runs down the side of their house.(along side a blocked paving drive way,which was put in by the previous owners when the grant was done) When we moved in I used to just leave my trailer in the garden and had to ask him to move his car when I wanted to get it out because he parks his car halfway across the driveway entrance which runs between our houses.therefore blocking our right of way , Now I would like to move my car into my back garden , the said neighbours and myself had a heated discussion ,and I informed them of what I was intending to do ,since this dispute they have been putting their wheelie bins and items for the recycling centre in front of my driveway gates and still continue to block the driveway entrance at the front of my house ,what can I do about this problem ?and where do I stand legally ?

Our Response:
If the deeds grant mutual access, no party should obstruct it. Legal action (or the threat of it) is your only recourse however.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Jul-16 @ 2:32 PM
Hi I'm having trouble with my neighbours over right of way into my garden which runs between mine and the said neighbours semi detached houses ,On my deeds it says that the people who I brought the house from had a deed of mutual grant . The said deed also grants rights of way over the land hatched blue on the filled plans,this registration takes effect subject there of.So a car could be parked in the garden ,the entry into the garden has double gates (which opens outwards ) My neighbours do not have parking in there garden but have a small raised path that runs down the side of their house.(along side a blocked paving drive way,which was put in by the previous owners when the grant was done)When we moved in I used to just leave my trailer in the garden and had to ask him to move his car when I wanted to get it out because he parks his car halfway acrossthe driveway entrance which runs between our houses.therefore blocking our right of way , Now I would like to move my car into my back garden , the said neighbours and myself had a heated discussion ,and I informed them of what I was intending to do ,since this dispute they have been putting their wheelie bins and items for the recycling centre in front of my driveway gates and still continue to block the driveway entrance at the front of my house ,what can I do about this problem ?and where do I stand legally ?
Niceone - 10-Jul-16 @ 9:21 PM
Help. I live on a little street that leads into a cul de sac and my neighbour performs repairs and work on cars,for what seems to be way too many cars to be favors for friends.they have a drive way which today had 2 cars on it both being worked on plus one parked on the front lawn.there is only a small inlet in front of my home that fits 3 cars on.there was also 4 more cars parked in the road that he was tinkering with and three in the inlet none of which belonged to the residents of the other 3 houses.i had to park on the busy main road today which is one of many occasions as have the other neighbours which is not ideal with a new born baby.The cars can be revving all day and banging.would like some advice as to whether there is any thing that can be done.
Cracker - 28-May-16 @ 6:52 PM
We have a shared driveway with our neighbour which is in a very poor and dangerous state and needs repairing. They are currently letting out the property and they have ignored all our communications thus far to discuss repairs. We have obtained 3 quotations, so how can we force them to contribute half to the repairs? Can we take them to small claims court before the work is done or do we need a court order? Thanks.
Ric75 - 7-Apr-16 @ 2:04 PM
Pandora - Your Question:
Storm Katie, March 16, brought our neighbour's 15ft trampoline crashing through our fence. Fortunately one of our trees stopped it hitting our house. We asked them to move it's location to a safer position but they have refused. Given the more extreme weather pattern, and prevailing winds, we are worried about future damage, and whether their insurance company will pay out if the bill is considerable. These larger trampolines should be banned from private gardens as they turn into dangerous missiles in high winds. Does anyone else know what our rights are or if a Local Authority can force the neighbour to remove it from it's risky location?

Our Response:
Most trampolines have fixings enabling them to be pinned to the ground or tethered. Rather than expecting to move or get rid of the trampoline, could yuo suggest that fastening it down might be an option?
ProblemNeighbours - 5-Apr-16 @ 2:38 PM
Storm Katie, March 16, brought our neighbour's 15ft trampoline crashing through our fence.Fortunately one of our trees stopped it hitting our house.We asked them to move it's location to a safer position but they have refused.Given the more extreme weather pattern, and prevailing winds, we are worried about future damage, and whether their insurance company will pay out if the bill is considerable. These larger trampolines should be banned from private gardens as they turn into dangerous missiles in high winds. Does anyone else know what our rights are or if a Local Authority can force the neighbour to remove it from it's risky location?
Pandora - 2-Apr-16 @ 11:43 PM
Hi Im a mobile auto electrician and do not work from home however, over the last year if my children have been sick or wife has been away, I have had the odd customer come to my house and I have worked on the drive way( detached with a double garage). Not even once month, maybe 5 times in the passed year and cars have been there 3 hours a time. no nose, no pollution, fitted parking sensors. Anyway today my neighboure asked me if, im running a work shop from my house. I was a bit put out by the comment, as I dont run a business like that and now feel a bit uncomfortable, if i ever have a situation in the future and a customer needs to come to me. Im insured to work from my house or road side and mobile. Any advice on this or who I could ask would be great. Thanks
monkey - 24-Feb-16 @ 11:01 PM
princess - Your Question:
Hi my neighbour has adrive which his wife uses to park her car. There is a block paving parking space in front of his lawn area which he will not let anyone else use as he states this is his space. There are other block paving areas dotted around the cul - de -sac in front of other peoples house and they dont quibble or tell people off for using them. How right is he

Our Response:
We don't know the area. If it's a private road, your deeds will tell you, otherwise try the council highways department for information.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Feb-16 @ 12:48 PM
Hi my neighbour has adrive which his wife uses to park her car. There is a block paving parking space in front of his lawn area which he will not let anyone else use as he states this is his space. There are other block paving areas dotted around the cul - de -sac in front of other peoples house and they dont quibble or tell people off for using them. How right is he
princess - 9-Feb-16 @ 9:20 PM
Disgruntled - Your Question:
I live in a small resident street and at the end of the street is a garage. He has parking for 3/4 cars on his forcourt which he doesn't use. Instead he has approximately 6 to 8 cars parked on the street leaving no parking spaces for the residents. Kmy problem is I am a young woman coming home from work at 3 am and I have to park in the next street. Can I do anything about it.

Our Response:
Contact your local council, there is usually nothing wrong with parking on a public street, but if they are used as part of a business that this person is running, they may be able to act.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-Dec-15 @ 10:10 AM
I live in a small resident street and at the end of the street is a garage. He has parking for 3/4 cars on his forcourt which he doesn't use. Instead he has approximately 6 to 8 cars parked on the street leaving no parking spaces for the residents. Kmy problem is I am a young woman coming home from work at 3 am and I have to park in the next street. Can I do anything about it.
Disgruntled - 10-Dec-15 @ 12:14 AM
Frustrated - Your Question:
I have just moved house and I am annoyed to learn that the neighbour opposite is running a taxi and airport transfer business. He has informed me that he has 5 vehicles. He has drivers who park there own cars outside my house and then take the taxi out. So there is always cars of some sort parked outside. I over heard a conversation between him and one of his drivers that suggested he has more vehicles than me and more mates!!! Which I found quite threatening. We have tried to be considerate and make sure there is room for us all to park he and especially his drivers are still being very inconsiderate! Is there anything I can do!!!

Our Response:
Check with your local planning office to make sure this person has permission to be runnign a business from home and keeping his commercial vehicles on the road in a residential area. If your drive is being blocked and you cannot get your vehicle out, the police can help - they can also help with threatening behaviour from your neighbours.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Oct-15 @ 11:49 AM
I have just moved house and I am annoyed to learn that the neighbour opposite is running a taxi and airport transfer business. He has informed me that he has 5 vehicles. He has drivers who park there own cars outside my house and then take the taxi out. So there is always cars of some sort parked outside. I over heard a conversation between him and one of his drivers that suggested he has more vehicles than me and more mates!!! Which I found quite threatening. We have tried to be considerate and make sure there is room for us all to park he and especially his drivers are still being very inconsiderate! Is there anything I can do!!!
Frustrated - 5-Oct-15 @ 1:29 PM
Hi, I have a small workshop in my garage consisting of a single phase milling machine and a single phase lathe, these machines are for the hobbyist for mechanical engineering. Having got back from a business trip in the far east i was greeted with a letter from the local council ( East Devon ) that someone had reported me for making to much noise from my machines and radio, yes i admit the radio is a bit load and this is easily remedied, but for the machines not too sure what to do, in my opinion they are not too noisy, who can i contact to see what level of noise is acceptable, i am happy to insulate the garage to help reduce the noise, i am also happy to get a devise to measure the level of noise also that i am making, please help!!!
craig - 12-Sep-15 @ 7:45 PM
beemarman - Your Question:
I have a neighbor who has about 5-6 cars that he uses for banger racing parked on his driveway. He also has a recovery van that he uses to move these vehicles around. Because of the state of these banger racing cars, he has made the whole street look like a scrapyard. I know he repairs and stores these cars for other people and he probably charges for the service. I want to complain to the council as I believe he needs some sort of planning permission to do what he's doing.He also has three of his own vehicle, and he parks this on the road. It's nearly impossible to get a parking space nowAny advise

Our Response:
There's not much you can do about the vehicles he parks on the road if they're taxed, insured, MOT'd etc. However if he is running a commercial operation from his home, then he may be breaking local planning laws etc, so give them a call.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Aug-15 @ 11:27 AM
I have a neighbor who has about 5-6 cars that he uses for banger racing parked on his driveway. He also has a recovery van that he uses to move these vehicles around. Because of the state of these banger racing cars, he has made the whole street look like a scrapyard. I know he repairs and stores these cars for other people and heprobably charges for the service. I want to complain to the council as I believe he needs some sort of planning permission to do what he's doing. He also has three of his own vehicle, and he parks this on the road. It's nearly impossible to get a parking space now Any advise
beemarman - 22-Aug-15 @ 9:13 PM
I have a car mechanic living opposite me, this has been going on for many years he works on and sells the cars in the street until 9am at times, I'm on dialysis and now going through the process of having a transplant and have been very ill and obviously still am, it is physically impossible to have any rest! Now his son who doesn't live there is building a HOTROD in the road all day long he has metal grinders going because he is dismantling on old car to make the other, the banging grinding is so loud it's impossible to watch TV or have a window open on top of that he has music blaring, it's actually making my illness worse because I'm so stressed all the time as is my family, I've spoken to him he ignores me tell me to mind my own business and he can do what he likes, yesterday the next door neighbor came out and told him to stop as he is also very unwell, no one minds the occasional noise party etc that's normal but this is insane and like a torture, I've even thought of selling up and moving but I'm not well enough to do that, please help.Sandie.
Sandie - 9-Aug-15 @ 1:20 PM
@Oldman. Well the obvious answer would be to report this to the Council. Have you done that already?
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Jun-15 @ 12:26 PM
A chap in the nearby Council flats has four vehicles which he keeps in the residents parking area: - a people carrier as a daily runabout - a minibus (looks unroadworthy), which has not moved for several months - an estate car which has been on axel stands for several months - a van which he uses to stores spare engines and other car parts (unmoved for several months). He has visitors during the week who bring along cars which he repairs in the residential street, often blocking driveways for myself and other residents. When working on the vehicles he discards any oil into a nearby public drain and appears to receive money from some or his visitors.Given that he is a Council tenant and the road is a service road owned by the council what are my options.
Oldman - 4-Jun-15 @ 11:17 AM
neighbour runs manufacturing business from private home,we get a lot of noise pollution he also employes a person to do the work.
STEVE - 4-Apr-15 @ 11:23 AM
@MissDaisy. You could try your local council. There may be some bylaws or planning regulations relating to the running of a business from your home in certain locations. If there is a genuine obstruction, the police can be contacted. If the engines are running for an unnatural length of time causing excessive noise/pollution, it might be worth contacting your local environmental health officer.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Feb-15 @ 10:26 AM
I feel as I live next door to Halfords! My neighbour is a mechanic and lives in the semi next door. Every weekend he has an array of cars being fixed which he parks on his drive, on his garden, on the road and next to our front garden. Some days there can be up to 8 cars lined up. His 'customers' are constantly parking blocking or partially blocking my driveway. They stand around outside waiting for their cars to be fixed. Not only is it inconvenient when his cars are blocking access but the noise and fumes from the constant tinkering is driving me to distraction! What is the legal position on this? I have made my feelings quite clear that I find it an inconvenience but he doesn't seem bothered. Apart from this he is a nice person and I don't want to fall out with him but I am fed up wih living next door to a garage! Any ideas?
MissDaisy - 17-Feb-15 @ 9:09 PM
@Fedup! Yes this is obstruction and is causing a danger. The police should be able to act in this instance.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Feb-15 @ 2:40 PM
We live in a cul a sac we have a drive were we always park our car one of the neighbours parks an very large van outside of our house ,it blocks out all the light in our living room and blocks our view . We have a junction directly opp our house this van causes an obstruction for other cars making it difficult to get passed ,its also difficult for us to get off our drive it makes it difficult for us to see . Is there anything we can do the owner doesnt care what anyone says he will park were he can ! But not on his own front he has two cars on his drive . a few nights ago a fire engine came down but couldnt get passed we have elderly people living near us who are not in very good health a couple of times ambulances have been in the night
Fedup! - 1-Feb-15 @ 4:49 PM
@tony. Is this causing you a problem? Do you have a gate that could prevent them from doing this? Is there no turning circle? Unless you have a restrictive covenant in place there is nothing to stop someone from home tutoring.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Jan-15 @ 2:13 PM
yes the neighbour is employed, yes she is tutoring for money Tony
Tony - 17-Jan-15 @ 2:59 PM
We live on a residentual estate. My neighbour works in government education and during the evenings of the week and at weekends carries out tutoring for money. Most of her clients (parents) turn around on my drive which is almost opposite the neighbours. this has been going on for some years now. I have spoken to my neighbour and she is totally aware of the issue. Is my neighbour creating a nuisance by not managing their clients actions, as this would not happen if there was not a home business? if so what action can I take? I cannot find any information about the business being registered and I understand that it is a cash business - what action should I take? Many thanks Tony What action can i take to prevent this happening more?
Tony - 17-Jan-15 @ 2:57 PM
well is chap,unemployed,is he doing it for gain money,is he a tenant,private tenant householder. first hmrc earning and not disclosing,black market? Tenant is it against his tenancy agreement? unsociable hours after 10pm. buying selling cars for gain not registered as to business with council or landlord required by first council and second landlord. housing association,noise,upsetting neighbours ,smells, smoke, car spraying. running business from home not illegal depends solicitor, iT dependent what type? cabinet making no,on tenanted property. FENCING OVER 2 METERS, HEAVY SMOKING BARBECUE,
bluestreak99 - 15-Mar-13 @ 6:50 AM
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