Pickles urges renting driveways

Cabinet minister Eric Pickles has vowed to clamp down on a "back-door parking tax" to allow homeowners to cash in by turning their driveway into a car park.

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RAC welcome plans to rent driveways

Motoring charity the RAC Foundation has welcomed plans to enable people to rent out their driveways as car parks. Professor Stephen Glaister said the plans made sense as the number of parking spaces has not kept pace with the increasing number of cars on the roads.

Instinctively this has to be right. The number of cars has grown from two million in 1950 to 28.5 million today. The number of parking spaces has not increased at anything like a similar pace.

If people can rent out a bedroom to a lodger then, within reason, why not let them lease out space on their drive? It is hardly a change of use.

Surely, if we can reduce congestion on the streets, then councils should be rejoicing rather than moaning?

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English councils earn £565m from parking charges

Households can earn more than £200 each month renting out their parking space, according to moneysavingexpert.com. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Figures from the RAC Foundation released this week claimed some councils were racking up huge surpluses from their parking-charge activities.

In 2011/12, English councils had a total current account surplus of £565 million from their on-street and off-street parking operations, after an annual rise of £54 million.

Eric Pickles said residents would now be allowed to rent a single parking space without planning permission, provided there was no main concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.

Pickles accuses councils of cashing in on parking rules

Eric Pickles said some town halls had threatened to fine households £20,000 if they ran their driveway as a car park without applying for "change of use" planning permission costing £385.

Councils should be welcoming common sense ways that help hard-working people park easier and cheaply and for families to make some spare cash.

Councils shouldn't be interfering in an honest activity that causes no harm to others, unless there are serious concerns.

Parking charges and fines are not a cash cow for town halls. This government is standing up against the town hall parking bullies and over-zealous parking enforcement.

– Eric Pickles

Pickles backs plans to turn driveways into car parks

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said the Government was "standing up against the town hall parking bullies". Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

Cabinet minister Eric Pickles has vowed to clamp down on a "back-door parking tax" to allow homeowners to cash in by turning their driveway into a car park.

The Local Government Secretary said residents should not be forced to seek planning permission to charge commuters to park on their property.

New government guidance will allow people to rent out their drives for a single car without making a planning application.

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