Skateboard Ramp

Skateboard Ramp

Dear Sir,

My neighbours have constructed a quarter pipe skateboard ramp of timber and steel. The front edge of the ramp bounds their private drive immediately adjacent to the boundary of their dropped kerb line for their drive. The ramp faces into the road. It is approx. 5 feet high. It is not fixed but is immobile and is left permenantly in position. Its position renders the drive unusable.

It is not necessarily the structure that I query (although it is an eyesore) but rather the only way in which it has to be used.

In order to use the ramp, the children must cross the road. From the other side of the road, the children drop off the kerb, (skating, or using scooters or bikes) cross the road, run up the dropped kerb for their drive and onto and up the ramp; either immediately turning upon it to run back down and into the road in one movement or stop on the platform at the top and then return.

The children then return across to the other side to begin again repeatedly. The use of it is dangerous and extremely noisy. It is positioned so that anyone can use it with the owners permission (or not as the case may be if the owners are not home). The safe use of it in terms of the road is dependant upon the children looking for approaching cars. Sometimes there are several children using it at the same time, taking turns.

Either when a scooter or bike travels up the ramp and lands on it or in particlualr when I assume contact is made with the frame in some way since it generates a very loud banging noise. Owing to how the ramp is used, the noise is prolonged, loud, repetitive and disruptive. Above all, it’s use is not safe.

I have reviewed the various planning criteria and cannot find an answer as to whether or not such a structure and its use would require planning permission. It does not seem to fit any criteria albeit it does constitute a change of use for the private driveway on which it is situated and requires regular crossing of the road and pavement by the children using it. Its use is dangerous and a noise nuisance.

I would be very grateful to receive your advice on whether or not the ramp requires planning permission.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Caple.

  1. stuart bishopstuart bishop10-17-2013

    Dear Sir,
    Thank you for the query.

    As you point out, Planning guidance is unclear in relation to this type of structure. However, it is very likely that your local authority Planning Department will indeed have a view on the construction. Walls / fences etc within front gardens and adjacent to roads have limitations on them in terms of their height, not just for visual reasons but also road safety (clear views at junctions etc). I would suggest the same principles could apply here, although it would be a matter of judgement as to whether this was a fixed structure or a breach of any planning legislation. I suggest you contact your local Planning Authority for further advice.

    In terms of noise, you may wish to contact your local authority environmental health department who deal with noise pollution, neighbour disputes etc. They will likely have a dedicated team dealing with neighbour noise, and will be able to advise further.

    Thank you.

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