Homeowner upset as Hull council rejects plan for driveway across grass verge
A HOUSEHOLDER says he is disappointed after city councillors rejected his plans to create a driveway across a grass verge.
Richard Pennack's planning application was rejected, despite 12 neighbouring houses in Park Avenue having verge crossovers.
His was the first scheme to be considered since new rules were introduced removing permitted development rights for residents to lay driveways over grass verges in the Avenues, a designated conservation area.
Under the move, householders now have to apply for planning permission before any work can be carried out.
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Mr Pennack, said: "It is disappointing because we love living here and have spent a lot of time and money restoring the house and renovating period features.
"It was in a pretty rundown state when we bought it.
"Creating a parking space at the side of the property is necessary because there is no nearby street parking and our house is landlocked because there is no tenfoot in the area.
"I have a young family and this would have improved their safety."
Mr Pennack had even offered to use grass-based plastic meshing for the crossover to maintain the appearance of the verge.
His plans also included installing ornamental gates and fencing to enclose the driveway next to the house, once the home of famous flying pioneer Amy Johnson and her family.
His immediate neighbour Angie Smith spoke in favour of the scheme at the council's planning committee.
She said: "Park Avenue is a diverse area. Conservation is important but so is common sense."
Planning agent Doug Jennings, who worked with Mr Pennack on the proposals, said the new planning policy covering the whole of the Avenues area was too restrictive.
He said: "While I accept it does not mean a blanket ban on verge crossings, it does mean they now need planning permission.
"In this case, I would argue there should be an allowance for differences in character in particular areas.
"Of 19 properties on this stretch of Park Avenue, 12 have verge crossovers.
"Grass verges might be one of the characters of the wider Avenues area but not here."
However, the prospect of another grass verge and the loss of a mature lime tree to make way for the driveway proved too much for councillors, even though two new trees would have been planted as replacements.
They voted to refuse planning permission after hearing from a number of residents who spoke against the proposals.
Councillor John Fareham said: "We have chosen to implement this policy for the area and the Avenues is overwhelmingly an area of grass verges.
"On balance, we have to refuse this and stick by our policy."