'Completely stupid': Homeowner fined for parking on his own property
Bob Cartwright was hit with a £35 fine for parking outside the house he's lived at for 30 years.
A man fined for parking on his own property has spent two ‘completely stupid’ years arguing with the council over whether he has the right to do so.
Bob Cartwright has lived in Bridle Road, Stafford, for 30 years and says he's parked on a strip of grass outside his home throughout this time – until he got a parking ticket on September 9, 2015.
The 74-year-old says the deeds to his house show the land is his and despite contesting the fine on the grounds he owns the land, the prospect of taking on Staffordshire County Council daunted Mr Cartwright, so he paid the £35 fine and decided to try and clear up the situation in the weeks that followed.
But after two years of discussions, the authority concluded this year that Mr Cartwright should apply for planning permission at a cost of £384 to change the use of the land to a parking space.
Mr Cartwright, a retired salesman who lives with wife Sandra, called the situation ‘ridiculous’ and says he can’t understand how the trouble started.
He said: “I have used this strip to park for 30 years pretty much every day.
“It is part of our home and it is our parking space.
“I was shocked to have been given the fine in the first place and what has come after is just completely stupid.
“The deeds to my house show this is land that belongs to me and now I am being told to pay more than £380 to have the use changed so I can carry on doing what I have been doing for decades.”
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for highways and transport, said: “At the moment the grass strip is legally regarded as part of the highway.
“We have spoken to Mr Cartwright and said that if he wishes to make an application to the Department for Transport so that the grass strip is no longer classed that way, the county council would not oppose it.”