HOMEOWNERS in Burton and South Derbyshire will no longer have to get permission from their local authority to rent out their driveways after a Government minister stepped in to stop ‘bullying councils’ from issuing fines.
Charging to allow commuters and shoppers to use driveways has become an increasingly attractive proposition for many people in recent years in an attempt to make extra money, while allowing motorists to park closer to busy areas such as town centres or train stations.
Figures showed that in Burton, families could make an extra £2,000 a year from the venture, with the current rate being charged being £8 per day.
But applicants have often faced difficulty in getting clearance to do so with households in parts of the country having been threatened with fines if they had not secured planning permission allowing for a change of use of their driveway.
But Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has now announced new regulations that will remove red tape and prevent town halls from fining what he called resourceful and entrepreneurial families.
East Staffordshire Borough Council leader Julian Mott, who also sits on the authority’s parking committee, said he wasn’t aware of any council that has issued fines, but said he supported the plan.
Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths also said anything that earns people some extra cash ‘without harming the community’ could only be a good thing.
Councillor Mott said: “If it gets cars off the streets then it is a very good idea.”
Mr Griffiths said: “As long as it doesn’t impact on the community people should be allowed to do what they want with their own property. It could earn people a little extra money.”
Mr Pickles said: “Town halls shouldn’t be stopping hard-working people from making a bit of extra cash from their homes. This is helping to provide more low-cost parking spaces for commuters, tourists and shoppers.”