Colchester MP hits out at 'snobby' van ban estate

Will Quince
Image caption Conservative MP Will Quince said banning people from parking commercial vehicles outside their own homes 'seemed unreasonable'

A housing developer has been accused of "snobbery" for banning traders from parking vans outside their homes.

As reported by The Sun, a utility worker had planned to buy a Persimmon Homes property near Colchester.

But he pulled out after learning a clause in the contract meant he would not be able to park his van outside.

The town's Conservative MP Will Quince said the ban "seemed unreasonable". Persimmon has yet to respond to the BBC.

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It is understood the restrictive covenant on homes in the new Oakwood Meadows development also bans boats and caravans from being parked either on the property or out on the road.

Mr Quince said: "I am a former property solicitor and am well used to these kinds of covenants and there's always a reason why they are included.

"The commercial vehicle one has always seemed unreasonable to me, particularly in a county like Essex which is an entrepreneurial county and many of those people will operate out of vans.

"They cannot always afford to own a car as well so effectively you're saying van drivers are not welcome in Essex which is a particularly snobby attitude."

Commonly used restrictive covenants can dictate parking arrangements, letting, the display of advertising posters on property and pets.

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Curious Covenants

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Not. Allowed.

Restrictive covenants are not only imposed on commercial or other large vehicles.

Residents on a new development in Beverley, East Yorkshire, for example, are subject to a covenant banning them from hanging out the washing or airing clean clothes outdoors.

Covenants prohibiting hanging washing in the front garden are not uncommon, but the one at Westwood Park covers windows, balconies, roof terraces, communal gardens and potentially even the back gardens of individual houses on the site.

The developers, though, did fit every home with a washer-dryer to help the enforcement of the covenant.

Other common covenants prevent occupiers from erecting fences in their front garden, keeping livestock other than domestic pets, washing their cars on the premises and removing any grassed areas.

Covenants can also be imposed on who can buy a property. In Wales, for example, a covenant on a home in Maentwrog meant it could only be bought by a local person.

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