Can I stop my neighbour parking his van outside my house?

Our neighbour is a builder and his van blocks the view from our sittingroom window

We live on a public road, but do we have any rights to claim the parking area as our own? Photograph: iStock

We live on a public road, but do we have any rights to claim the parking area as our own? Photograph: iStock

 

Our neighbour is a builder and parks his van outside our wall taking up the space in front of our house in which we would normally park and also blocking the view out of our sittingroom window. We live on a public road, but do we have any rights to claim the parking area as our own?

Commercial vehicles parked in residential areas are occasionally the subject of complaints and can lead to difficult neighbourly relationships. There are three aspects to your query, as follows:

1. Your right to claim the parking space as your own.

2. Your neighbour’s right to park his van in this space.

3. Your right to a view.

In relation to (a), the road outside your wall is, as you state, a public road. This means that it is in the charge of the local authority and therefore a public right of way exists over the entire width of the road. It should be noted that the road includes the footpath, and grass verge, if one exits.

All members of the public have a right to park their vehicles along a public road provided they do not cause an obstruction to traffic or to entrances to nearby properties and provided that there are no parking restrictions imposed by the local authority. You do not have a priority right to the parking space outside your boundary wall, irrespective of whether or not your property is registered to the centre of the road.

Parking regulations

In relation to (b), your neighbour is entitled to park on an available space on the public road. Parking regulations do not generally prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles such as vans in residential areas. However, individual local authorities may impose restrictions on some categories of vehicles in specific areas. I suggest that you contact your local authority and check the parking status for your location.

In relation to (c), you do not have a legal right to a view from your house. Claims to rights to a view, in a similar way to rights to light, are problematic issues in both residential and commercial developments. Rights to a view would seriously limit development potential in both rural and urban areas. If such rights existed, their regulation would be fraught with difficulties in terms of interpretation and implementation. There have been, however, rare instances when the courts have upheld a litigant’s claim to a right to a view, but only in exceptional circumstances.

You did not indicate if your neighbour has a space to park outside his own house. I suggest that you discuss the situation with him, explain your concerns and seek his cooperation. It is advisable that you deal with the issue tactfully so that it does not escalate to a dispute. – Patrick Shine

Patrick Shine is a chartered geomatics surveyor, a chartered civil engineer and a member of SCSI, scsi.ie

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