Nottingham City Council is set to embark on a bold new scheme to build driveways outside people’s council houses – and then charge the tenants.
It is hoped the initial pilot scheme will help ease congestion and parking troubles. It would then be rolled out across the city if it is deemed a success.
The project, which was formally approved by Nottingham City Council this week, commits £65,000 to building 20 driveways.
Residents would then pay the council either £5 or £6 a week.
It would only be for residents who apply for the scheme and would only apply to properties owned by Nottingham City Homes.
It is initially being trialled in areas where the council feels the streets are most congested, and it is hoped construction work could start as early as next month.
Tenants would pay the council back for the investment over an almost indefinite period, once interest and maintenance costs are taken into account.
The idea has received widespread support from Labour, Conservatives and Nottingham City Homes.
Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy council leader, said: “I’m really pleased. I’ve been pushing for this for about three years.
“We’re just experimenting on a couple of properties at the minute, but I’m hoping it can be rolled out full-time.
“The estates were never built for cars. They’re very narrow and they’re just getting more and more congested.
“People have more cars, and cars are getting bigger.
“I think this project will substantially help the situation, but it’s not going to solve it. It does mean less damage to cars, which comes when they try to squeeze past.
“There is a definite demand for it. I’ve got a list of about 15 people who are interested.”
Mark Lawson, of Nottingham City Homes, gave a thumbs up to the scheme during the council’s consultation.
He said: “Nottingham City Homes supports the piloting of new driveway provision to determine demand. While tenant satisfaction is at an all-time high, parking is still a cause of dissatisfaction for many.
“A range of solutions needs to be considered and balanced against the cost of implementation. This pilot will help us to understand demand and appetite for a ‘pay-for’ driveway solution.”
Coun Jane Urquhart, portfolio polder for planning and housing, said: “At the moment if a council tenant wants a driveway, there is no process in place to enable that to happen.
“Sometimes local ward budgets have been used for this but resident parking is an issue across the city which we hope this new approach will help us to address.
“We have been rolling out a programme of yellow lining in neighbourhoods around the city where narrow roads make access for emergency vehicles and bin lorries difficult.
“This is another way of tackling the issue by taking some vehicles off streets altogether. Where tenants have the space and would like a drive, this allows us to install one and recoup the costs over a period of time which makes it a more affordable option.
“We hope to roll this out further if the pilot scheme proves popular.”