Drivers fight Tower Hamlets for years over 'clamping on private land'
- Credit: Mike Brooke
Drivers battling to get double yellow lines removed from private Spitalfields land for 14 years have successfully forced Tower Hamlets Council to unclamp a car.
The conflict centres around a cobbled cul-de-sac off Buxton Street, which is not part of the highway but where the council wrongly painted yellow lines more than 20 years ago.
Land-owner David Spurring has a highways planning notice dated January 11, 2007, seen by this paper, confirming: “Shuttle Street is not highway maintainable at public expense. It was closed as a public highway on March 2, 1995.”
Now - with help from this newspaper - the local authority has unclamped Charlie Dunlop's off-road Freelander car, which had been immobilised since 8am on June 4.
“This land is not part of the highway,” the 49-year-old projects manager told the East London Advertiser. “My car is on private property. “The old yellow lines have never been repainted like those in Buxton Street — so the council knows it’s private land.”
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But a jubilant Charlie sent the paper a message this week: "The council has finally acknowledged the error, removed the clamp and cancelled the parking charge notices.
"I suspect your email (to the council) had a role to play in getting some action — so many thanks for that."
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Leaseholders living in the former converted St Patrick’s School use the alley on their property, formerly known as Shuttle Street, as a private driveway — but have kept getting penalty tickets since 2007.
They each have to be cancelled after lengthy paperwork.
The trouble started when the double yellow lines were painted up and down the single-track alley when Tower Hamlets Council brought in tough parking restrictions around the corner in Buxton Street.
That’s when Allen Gardens green space was opened and the through-route became a dead end.
Artist David said: “The council just blundered round the corner many years ago painting yellow lines right up to the end of the alley and back down again. It's clearly private land, but I’ve had a tremendous battle for 14 years and used to get penalty tickets every day, which I had to get cancelled.”
There are no front doors along the alley, just two brick walls on either side.
The Advertiser made detailed enquiries to Tower Hamlets on June 7 and 9, which have been acknowledged three times concerning the issue — but has not yet received a response.