Phew, council have backed down. A warning to many.

Three weeks ago I found 'abandoned vehicle' notices on three of my vehicles parked in the privately owned back alley, the notices gave me
fifteen days to move them or they would be towed and crushed (at my expense!) Two days later I got FPNs in the post for £200 each vehicle. I wrote to the council and pointed out the obvious: private land: it doesn't matter, the council can take action against what they consider abandoned vehicles anywhere !! (refuse disposal act 1978)
I moved the vehicles anyway (drove them away, so that shows how abandoned they were!) Told the council they were gone, and asked for the fines to be revoked, I was polite and pointed out the inaccuracies in their 'evidence'
A week went by and they have agreed to drop it.
So, if, like me, you have a camper van (or vans, or cars) that have not moved in a while, BEWARE. My vehicles were sorned and insured.
What a good job I was here and not on holiday, or I would have come home to a very hefty bill and no vehicles or their contents.
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MrCheerful wrote:

Which council is this? And what part of the Council tried to take this acton?
In our village (not far from Thetford, in Norfolk) one resident persists in parking clearly undriveable wrecks in his driveway, and it would be nice to get rid of them.
--
Graham J


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His property, his wrecks. You may not like it, but I don't want to live in a world where you can get the council to take action against what someone is harmlessly doing on their own drive.
The exception would be if they were causing a genuine environmental issue.
I do worry a little about this as my new to me Seicento Schumacher is parked at the end of our road, as nobody parks there and I haven't got around to taking it up my lockup... it may be there for a few more weeks whilst I tinker a little, when I have time, too...
--
Steve H

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On 03/11/2018 00:30, Steve H wrote:

We already live in a nanny state that stops you doing things in your own home.

Oh dear! But then I've never known anything like Mr Cheerful has said and hopefully its a one-off.
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On 03/11/2018 01:28, Fredxx wrote:

Naturally I have asked many, many people and none of them have heard of this before. Yet, if you check the acts, then yes, they can go on to private property and take action, just as they did in my case. In fact they have a duty to do so !!! They cannot take action against vehicles in buildings, only land open to the air.
I believe the act was originally intended to give them powers to clean up actually abandoned vehicles quickly, like ones crashed and left in a ditch, burnt out in a layby etc.
One of the things I pointed out to the council was that I have been here 37 years and parked vehicles in the same area, and have never had or heard of, a complaint from any of my neighbours.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/abandoned-vehicles-council-responsibilities
My council cited 'no evidence of ownership': a mistake since they easily found my street address from the registration numbers.
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MrCheerful wrote:
[snip]

So what can you do to guard against a similar event in the future? Perhaps get the local TV news to interview your MP about it, standing at the location in question?
I would hate to think that you cannot go on holiday because of this!
--
Graham J


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On 03/11/2018 08:23, Graham J wrote:

I think that the only way around it would be to keep the vehicles permanently taxed. Which is annoying,especially for camper vans for example, where you might only tax them for the time you need them.
The council made no effort to speak to me before applying their draconian tactics, I was at home when they put the notices on, and a neighbour saw the bloke skulking around taking pictures, so a simple word to the neighbour and the council enforcement officer could have knocked on my door.
If I had known about the possibility of such a thing happening I would have just kept them taxed and parked them in the street, and that would annoy people!!
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On 03/11/18 08:34, MrCheerful wrote:

Keeping them 'taxed' wouldn't help as there are no 'tax discs' these days.
You'd 'Sorned' the vehicle so, if the Council had checked, they would know it was yours etc. Even if it were taxed, they'd have got the same info.
As you say, a camper/motorhome can sit, or appear to sit, for months. We parked ours (on out drive) at the end of Sept when we returned from our Europe jaunt. I took it for its MOT (I've just got back!, all OK) it won't move until our next trip or we sell it (we are looking to replace it). To anyone passing, it won't appear to have moved for months as it is always parked within inches of the same place. (I fits it a key spot we had made for a motorhome when the drive was laid, hook up etc. available and securing the trailer.)
I suspect your 'problem' is the alley isn't yours (Not a criticism) and someone has complained.
I always thought the loss of the tax disc was a bad idea.
--


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Wonder if the difference is that although your lane is nominally private, the public still have access to it legally, unlike your own garden, etc.
No chance one of the other lane users complained to the council?
--
*I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 03/11/2018 10:41, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I expect that someone has complained, but not to me, and the council reaction was draconian and inventive to say the least.
Additionally the law of prescription applies as a 'negative easement' against whoever does own that exact bit. (I have used that area for parking many, many vehicles for 37 years)
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On Sat, 3 Nov 2018 06:50:05 +0000, MrCheerful

When I bought this house the garage (in the back garden with side access to the road) had been used regularly used for30 years before, even though there was no dropped curb.
When building a Mini Moke style kitcar I put an empty rolling shell (Riely Elf) in the road for collection by the scrap man, only to then get a letter informing me I must desist moving vehicles across the footpath, unless I went for a dropped kerb (and coincidentally they were doing such things in the area and could do mine at a reduced cost). ;-)
I accepted their offer.
Then I got a letter stating I had an untaxed vehicle on the public highway and I should get it off the road asap.
I sent a copy of the first letter to them, explaining that 1) I had been let down by the scrap man and 2) I was unable to return it to my own property by their own instruction (subject to them getting round and doing the crossover). I also mentioned that it was without motor it wasn't technically a 'Motor vehicle so they could really only do me for obstruction. ;-)
Like you I got a letter back saying it wouldn't be taken any further.
Your case wasn't quite as bad as seeing a recovery truck hooking up my old Rover 218SD because they *thought* it was the other vehicle in the road that had been reported as abandoned (the one that was a different make, model and reg), even though it was displaying a current tax disk!
Cheers, T i m
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This is what the company that own my resident's car park use to get vehicles removed that are parked and/or abandoned there without permission. It's the quid pro quo for the landowner being unable to take direct action against the offender themselves by either removing the vehicle or immobilising it and demanding a release fee. The rules apply even if the vehicle is fully taxed: AIUI if it's left there for more than 14 days it can be treated as abandoned.
--
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On 04/11/2018 12:02, D A Stocks wrote:

But if there is a barrier with a padlock they have to commit criminal damage by cutting the padlock to remove the vehicle.
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On 04/11/2018 13:29, Peter Hill wrote:

or just lift it over
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Not sure who "they" are, but any attempt by a landowner to prevent removal of a vehicle parked without permission is illegal. The only legal way to get rid of such a vehicle is to get the council to remove it after the 14 days.
Some form of *entry* control in the form of a barrier or gate for the carpark would be a solution to the problem but in the above case (a block of flats) it would either be expensive to implement or inconvenient for the users, or both.
--
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On 04/11/2018 13:29, Peter Hill wrote:

I suspect the council can claim that access necessitated the destruction of the padlock to gain access to the car, and so outside the scope for criminal damage.
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On 02/11/2018 23:28, Graham J wrote:

It applies to all councils in England.
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On 02/11/2018 18:21, MrCheerful wrote:

I think if the driveway has direct access to the public highway you need a gate or length of scaffold across the entry to bar them access.
A garage I know has had a XJS parked outside with a flat tyre for over 10 years. The head lining has dropped (like it does on these). He has had to fence his forecourt with a barrier made from 2" box section painted bright yellow.
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On 04/11/2018 08:24, Peter Hill wrote:

Reading the act, the council can go onto any private land that is open to the air in order to assess and mark for removal any vehicle that their criteria establishes is an 'abandoned vehicle'
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Then that 'law' is quite clearly an ass, both disproportionate and without acceptable checks and balances. It clearly condones theft and a permanent loss to the rightful owner. Just WTF drafted this 'act' and WTF hasn't it been repealed on the grounds that it is way beyond acceptable in this non-communist state?
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