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Minimum access width...?


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#1 jackboy

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 12:30 PM

Could anybody tell me what the minimum access width is required by building regs. Currently there is a long drive down the the plot of land but it's not too wide unless i can get the neighbour to let me use part of their land too.

On it's own it's approx 8'6"". is this too narrow?

with the neighbours land it's approx 11'6". Would this make it wide enough?

Any advice welcomed!

Cheers

#2 ajfish

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

Jackboy,
I had an issue with access on my first build. The owner of the private approach road over which I had access, was restricted (legally) by 8' 6". I guess there is some legal issue with the 8' 6". All the access issues I had on to the plot were really due to the obstructive owner of the private road, who eventually, after protracted negotiation, sold the road to us. I did a lot of research into getting lorries and diggers on site using the 8' 6" limit and it can be done. I had already determined with Highways if they had any issue which they didn't. I don't think Planning have a width to which they stick to. Building regs may be a different matter if the road is used to serve a number of properties. You may, for example, have to provide a turning head for emergency and other vehicles. Try to avoid giving the neighbour any indication that you need the land in order to develop your property. The going rate for access strips is a third of the value of the building land.It could be that if you need the extra 3' it would cost you handsomely. Have a word with Highways and Building Control first.
AJ
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#3 project_manager

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 06:20 PM

Jackboy just seen your message, i'm a first time user so had to register to help.
If a fire appliance cannot get within 45m of any part of a dwelling the minimum width for an access is 3.7m between kerbs for a fire appliance under Building Regulation B5, Table 8, the minimum width for a gate is 3.1m, there are several critiera, ie. travel distances and turning area if the access is more than 20m long, suggest you view the details in Building Regs, you can view them FOC at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADB1_2006.pdf

#4 markd

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 09:23 PM

It will be a planning issue initially, rather than building regs. Additionally, if you need a wider roadway suggest you approach the neighbouring land owner first - before he finds out through the planning process that you need his land - he's then got a ransome strip.....going to be expensive!! There's also some national planning guidance for Highways.

#5 ajfish

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 10:32 PM

Markd,
I can only comment on my direct experience, which was as follows. When we discussed with a planning officer on site about what we wanted to build, the tight access wasn't an issue to him because we had already got "approval" from Highways. As long as Highways don't have an issue and as long as you can conform to building regs (as PM mentions above) you shouldn't have an issue.
On the issue of approaching the neighbour, what you don't want to do is approach them at all before you are sure of your position. Any approach is likely to set alarm bells ringing. All you can hope is that they don't have a feel for what a ransom strip is truly worth.
AJ
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#6 temp

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:27 AM

Get this issue sorted before you buy the plot. Presumably the sellers asking price reflects the fact that there is a risk a house can't be built on it?

Ransom strips can be worth 30% of the uplift they add to the value. Example: (Your figures will vary): If you can't build without buying the ransom strip the land is a field worth say £5,000. With the strip the site is a building plot worth £200,000 so the value of the ransom strip might be 0.3 * (200,000 - 3,000) = £59,000. That's what the neighbour might reasonably expect you to pay for if you have no alternative - regardless of the size of the strip.

The road might be 8'6" on the ground at the moment but have you checked the land registry maps carefully? Do they show it that width? wider or narrower? Who owns the drive?

Compulsory reading.. "How to find and buy a building plot" and "How to get planning permission" both by Roy Speer and others.