Planning permission to rent parts of a yard for parking "out of hours"

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    Planning permission to rent parts of a yard for parking "out of hours"

    I'm trying to establish whether there may be any planning breach in my neighbour renting part of his yard for parking.

    My neighbour owns a "skip yard". I put it in inverted commas because he does not manage waste at the site but parks his two trucks and a number of skips there. A truck leaves at about 6am and the second at about 730. They come and go a couple of times a day and then pack up about 4pm. There are also old single storey sheds on the site which are used as a site office, as a mechanics and as a storage unit for an electrical contractor - their hours are not regular but roughly fit in to 9-5.30 Mon-Fri. Sometimes Saturday.

    The site is an old site (my building - home - used to be part of it, as was the house on the other side) and does not have any planning conditions or filed history.

    Recently the owner has started letting parking space to a motorcyclist. He's concreted in a metal D frame to which the chap chains his bike. No big deal except that this chap likes to drop and collect his bike at all hours. Regularly 1230-1 am in the week. Sometimes before 6am on a Sunday. He has been given 24hr access. The huge double padlocked steel gates are noisy enough but he also has a security chain with which you could lift a skip. Just handling the chain causes a racket by itself but when he pulls it through the hollow metal D frame it rings so loudly I am sure you can hear it a mile away. It can't help but wake you up. Then there are the piercing alarm beeps, random banging about etc.. which goes on for up to 15 minutes. I've had a chat to him and suggested putting a better damper on the chain for starters but his view is that he pays for the parking and can use it as he likes. There's not much scope to chat with the owner - he's been stealing utilities from his neighbours and became violent when found out so is in court in a couple of weeks.

    The planning guidance regarding letting parking spaces seems terribly vague. And I'm not sure whether it applies to letting existing parking spaces or to the use of any piece of land for parking. Or indeed whether there would be any change of use implicit in this particular site being used for parking. Or the change of hours ... My local authority will not discuss matters like this - you have to submit a complaint to enforcement and if you are lucky you get a decision some months later. I'd like to have some sort of idea about the legals before I do so.

    Does anyone have any planning experience with this?

    The guidance is:
    Is planning permission required to rent out a parking space?

    The government’s view is that it should be possible to rent parking spaces without planning permission, provided there are no substantive planning concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.

    There is a public interest from such renting, by providing more cheap and flexible parking spaces for people to park their car and taking pressure away from on-street parking.

    The decision on whether renting out a parking space requires planning permission will depend on 2 principal factors:
    1. The first is whether renting out a parking space results in a material change in the use of the space. Determining whether there has been a material change of use will depend on whether a space is used in a significantly different way to how a parking space would normally be used (irrespective of the identity of the driver). For example, if by renting out spaces, it causes a notable public or neighbour nuisance. A local planning authority will make this decision based on relevant facts and on a case by case basis.
    2. The second is whether there are any other relevant planning considerations, such as planning conditions, which impose restrictions that prevent parking spaces being rented out.

    If renting out parking spaces does not amount to a material change of use and if there are no other planning considerations that prevent parking spaces from being rented out then it would not require planning permission.
    Assume I know nothing.

    It seems to me that your concern is about noise rather than any planning issue.

    But with regard to planning then your own quote says clearly:
    The government’s view is that it should be possible to rent parking spaces without planning permission, provided there are no substantive planning concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.
    So you would have to show that any (extra) noise from this motorcyclist is a 'material change' and a 'public nuisance'.

    As there are already two skip loaders parking there, and comming and going all day, then I doubt that a 'material change' would hold water.
    Similarly I would have thought any noise from the motorcyclist would be much less than the truck engines, whining hydraulic pumps for the lift arms, and banging skips about.

    OK it's at different hours which you consider unsociable, but how long can it last? Minutes at most before he's off on his bike.

    TBH I think you are wasting your time.

    If the yard owner is already in court in a couple of weeks I'd hold my water and see what comes of that.


      I'd have thought noise caused by a change in use of the site would be a planning issue. Practically any commercial development in a residential area is conditioned these days with hours of operation, delivery times, types of vehicles used, even types of gates and goods trolleys, etc. wholly for the purpose of avoiding noise disturbance or protecting amenity.

      I don't know whether commercially letting parking spaces constitutes a change of use at all in this case - it is such a hotch potch of uses already. It seems to me that hours might be materially relevant to planning. There seems to be a huge difference between a business making intermittent noise in the daytime and making intermittent noise at night in a residential area. But then I don't really know. Maybe it is just down to who you get as a planning officer?

      I don't imagine that the court outcome will make much difference. The owner either gets a criminal record for assualt in two weeks or he doesn't. He won't be put away and even if he were it doesn't make much difference to the use of the yard. The point being that he's a thief with a history of violence, rather than someone I would happily sit down with and sort things out with over a pint!
      Assume I know nothing.


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