Rent out your driveways, Eric Pickles tells homeowners as he vows to clamp down on 'parking tax'

Communities Secretary argues renting out spaces can help households increase their income 

Eric Pickles is backing motorists who rent out their driveways and parking spaces, arguing that local authorities should be welcoming “common-sense” ways for families to make “spare cash”.

New government guidelines will back people who rent out their parking spaces to other motorists after reports emerged of officials threatening fines to those who had not sought parking permission prior to advertising their space.

Councils have been reportedly threatening fines of up to £20,000 if the homeowners do not apply for planning permission for “change of use”, which costs £385.

The Communities Secretary vowed to clamp down on a “back-door parking tax” to allow residents to rent out a parking space for a single car.

Households have been using internet “matching sites” to rent out their unused space, which Mr Pickles argued provides cheaper parking spaces and takes pressure away from on street parking in heavily congested areas.

Anthony Eskinazi, founder of online parking marketplace ParkatmyHouse, which matches drivers to home and business owners with available parking spaces, said: “We welcome the comments from Mr Pickles, which provide a common- sense approach to the issue of parking.

”Drivers should not be at the mercy of vast parking charges and minimal parking spaces. Parking should be no different to all other services where those who shop around can find the best deals.

“Often drivers feel powerless, but by choosing an alternative to council parking, drivers can demonstrate to councils that they won't stand for inflated prices and poor choice.”

The practice has also been recognised by financial experts as a way of households increasing their monthly income.

In a statement, Mr Pickles said: “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."

The move was welcomed by car and motorway groups. AA president Edmund King said: "It is better to get cars off the road to keep traffic flowing. If driveways are empty during the day, it seems sensible to let their owners rent them out.

“Local authorities make enough money out of parking and this may help to bring people back to the high street. However, the most successful driveways for rent tend to be close to railway stations, airports, football grounds or concert venues.

“Cars are parked up for 95 per cent of their time so if we can get more cars parked off-road it has to be a good thing.”

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future