Land ownership and other considerations

If you don’t own the land to be used for parking, you must provide evidence that you have consent from the owner to use the land.

If your access will cross private land, between your property and the highway, you will need to get the landowners consent or purchase the land. If this is the case, you are likely to need planning permission for change of use before submitting your application for vehicle access.

Tenant

You will need to provide written confirmation from your landlord granting permission to allow a vehicle to park on the land concerned. If you are a Housing Association tenant, such as Silva Homes, permission must be given by your Housing Association in writing. Your landlord may charge a fee for this service. 

Owner of an ex-council house

Your property is likely to be the subject to a condition (called a covenant) which currently prevents cars being parked on the property. You will need to contact Silva Homes to have the restrictive covenant relaxed. We need a copy of the letter to be provided to us before your application can be finalised. Silva Homes normally charge a fee for lifting restrictive covenants. 

You might want to delay applying for your relaxation of the covenant until you have received approval of your vehicle access application from the Highway Authority. This approval will include a drawing and a quote which will tell you how much the construction will cost. 

Once you have received your quote, you should contact Silva Homes and get your restrictive covenant letter before agreeing to the quote and paying the council. This is in case there is an issue getting the covenant letter.  This will add a short period of time to the process but does reduce your financial risk should your covenant application not be successful.

We cannot issue instructions to our contractor before receipt of proof that the covenant has been lifted.

Owner of an ex-council house but not the garden

In some cases a council house has been sold, but the council keeps ownership of the land forming the front garden. Usually this is the soft landscaped areas. If your deeds are written in this way, you will need to contact Silva Homes who may need you to buy the land. This may also need planning permission for change of use which would involve extra charges. Such conditions need to be satisfied before your application for a vehicle access. 

Walls, fences and hedges

If you have a wall, fence or hedgerow at the location of your planned or extended driveway, you need to remove these before our contractor drops the kerb. This includes any other planting or structure as well as footings, foundations and roots.

This is because the vehicle access works will need excavation to enable footway edgings to be altered on your boundary.

If you don't do this before the works, it could result in our contractor leaving the site and charging a return visit fee of £150.

Trees

Make sure you check whether there are any trees on your property or your neighbours which are near the proposed works. The works could undermine the stability and health of the trees by removing some of their root systems.

The works could cause compaction of the surrounding soil and prevent water getting to the remaining root system. We do not recommend going ahead with a vehicle access if it is beneath the canopy of a mature tree.

If there are trees nearby, check whether:

If either of these apply, you need to make an application or notify the Planning Authority under the Town and Country Planning Act. See our householders making a planning application guide for more details. 

Once you have a decision from the Planning Authority about the tree, you may be able to proceed with your vehicle access application.

Even if trees are not protected and you are not in a conservation area, your proposed construction works may still interfere with the tree root system or canopy. We recommend that you get professional tree or arboricultural advice before making your application to make sure that any works would not endanger you or the public by increasing the risk of the tree falling. You can find a list of consultant arborists on the Arboricultural Association website

If construction works to install a dropped kerb are likely to damage, or adversely impact trees within the highway, we will seek advice from the council's Tree Service, before making our decision. 

If there is a potential for damage to the trees, your application may not be approved. 

Street furniture

Street furniture includes items such as:

  • street lighting columns
  • road signs
  • street nameplates

If there is any street furniture that will need to be relocated because of the vehicle access, there will be a cost to you for this job. If these items are essential to the highway network and cannot be relocated, your application may be refused. Any required works may also cause delays in the process.

Utility company plant

Utility company plant includes:

  • cabinets
  • poles
  • posts
  • covers
  • chambers
  • underground pipes and cables

Utility company plant is sometimes visible, such as service covers. In other cases, the underground services are not visible as they are underneath the surface. If these need moving, lowering, or strengthening to allow a vehicle to drive over them safely, the utility company may charge for diversionary works. This includes but is not limited to lowering of covers, ducts, cables and pipes, and the reconstruction of chambers to the new footway levels.

Where possible, we will liaise with the utility company on your behalf to arrange these works. Costs incurred for utility company works are your responsibility. Where these are needed, they may be significant. We will request payment of such fees in advance of the works being carried out. Where diversionary works are needed, there may also be extensive delays in the process.

Once we start the works on site, if we find unexpected utility company plant, any costs incurred will be your responsibility. This may cause significant delays.