There are loads of things about this house that are a massive nuisance but one of the most frustrating on a daily basis is the access. The frontage of the house pictured above is actually on the side of the plot. The site plan below gives an idea of the peculiar angle of the house within the plot. The street, a very steep hill, is shown on the bottom right corner of the plan. The steepest point is position A, where the photo above was taken. Position B is the driveway shown in the photo at the top, but unfortunately it isn’t a part of our property.
The image below left was taken at position C, the pedestrian entrance which leads through a gate to the main entrance porch in position D. As you can see from this image beyond the wrought iron gate, the garden path forks right and leads to E which takes you up two steps through a door to the cramped kitchen lobby, see photo below right. Without the fence we installed and the sign saying “use other entrance” this rear kitchen lobby door has the appearance of being the main entrance due to its position as the first one you come to. I’ve always been twitchy about guests coming to the back door wherever I’ve lived – it’s always an awkward mess of dog jumping up, nowhere to put shoes and coats and walking in on a kitchen that’s usually in a state of disarray. Here with the cramped kitchen lobby space inside which is home to our fridge and tumble drier it’s worse than ever.
We’re fortunate to have a driveway (image below left), it leads to a large garage and actually fits four cars on. The problem with it is its position at the bottom of the plot and its proximity – or lack of – to the house shown in the image above (bottom right) taken from position G on the driveway. It’s great to be able to park on our own drive but what’s less great (and becomes increasingly so with each passing day) is the narrow steep path (image below right) we have to navigate every day, usually with a toddler, dog and 237 bags. Then through a gate and up three steps into the cramped lobby. No wonder my back is screwed.
It could be worse, I appreciate many people don’t have off-road parking at all. Having lived here for eighteen months, the access issue has become our biggest bugbear; a ‘front’ door tucked away down the side of the house on the opposite side of the plot to the driveway. When visitors come they’re perplexed too and regularly can be found on arrival wandering around our labyrinth garden (a story for another day) trying to find the way in. An auxiliary postlady once knocked on the conservatory door thinking it was the main entrance.
Our revised access proposals are a key part of our planning application, shown in the site plan below. We’re hoping to widen the existing pedestrian access and lay a new driveway so we can just park and walk straight into the house. What a dream novelty that feels right now….