Obstructions are objects which have been unlawfully placed on or which overhang the highway.
below are some frequently asked questions:
- Are building materials allowed to be placed on the highway?
- What can I do about overhanging trees/overgrown hedges?
- Do I need permission to build a car crossing (drive access) outside my house?
- What about drivers parking on pavements or grass verges?
- What can be done about goods for sale on the highway?
- What’s the Council’s view on caravans and trailers on the road?
Building materials can cause a hazard on Wirral’s roads and even damage grass verges and pavements.
In certain circumstances, however, materials may be permitted under license.
Privately owned trees or overgrown hedges can create problems for pedestrians walking along the pavement or public right of way.
If they are causing an obstruction, the local authority can ask for them to be cut back.
The Council may ask you formally to cut back the greenery within 14 working days.
Many residents are surprised to learn that if you don't, by law our officers may have to step in and cut back the overgrown trees or hedges and bill you for the cost of the work.
Your tree/s may be protected by Tree Preservation Order (TPO)or situiated within a Conservation Area. In such circumstances you may only carry out the minimum of work sufficient enough to remove the obstruction and abate the nuisance, e.g low branches. The work should, where appropriate, be carried out to the current British Standard, BS 3998, “Recommendations for Tree Work”
By example: a typical work specification for protected tree/s or tree/s situated within a Conservation Area would be; prune back to boundary and/or to a height of 2.5m over pavement and/or 5m over the highway. These specified statutory clearences ensure the safe passage of pedestrians and highway users
If you are considering having work carried out on the highway outside your home to create access to a driveway, you must contact and obtain permission from the Council by contacting Streetscene advisors. You should be aware that you may also require planning permission.
Any unauthorised crossings may be removed and the highway reinstated. The cost of these works could then be billed to the householder.
Damage to footways and verges costs the Council in excess of £40,000 per annum. Persons responsible for causing damage to footways and verges may be prosecuted and made to pay the cost of repair.
Cars for sale on the highway are unsightly and potentially a distraction for motorists. We will attempt to contact the owner and take appropriate enforcement action.
'A' boards and goods for sale on the pavement outside shops are how greengrocers and florists often display their produce outside or advertise their business.
Sometimes these can create an obstruction or hazard for pedestrians. In certain circumstances the Council can license 'A' boards and shop displays and there will be a fee for this, payable before a license can be issued.
However in some instances where there is insufficient footway width, the Council may not issue a license and can serve notice and take legal action if the owner does not comply.
In certain circumstances the Council can license tables and chairs on the highway and there will be a fee payable before a license can be issued.
Planning permission and Listed Building consent may also be required from the Council for the use of the land as a pavement cafe.
There is a further fee for this and planning approval must have been granted before an application will be considered by the Highway Authority.
The Council can ask for a pavement cafe to be removed from the highway and take legal action if the owner does not comply.
The Council has previously designated many of its streets as being Prohibited or Consent Streets for the purpose of street trading.
Within consent streets the Council can license street traders and request a fee in doing so.
The Council may prosecute any person who engages in street trading in a prohibited street; in a consent street without a license; or contravenes any of the principal terms or conditions of the license; or knowingly makes a false statement; or who trades without a valid license.
The Council may at any time revoke a street trading license if the holder fails to comply with the terms of the license, and no fee will be refunded.
Caravans, trailers and boats can present a nuisance when they are left stored on the road. The Council appreciates that when a touring caravan comes out of storage, owners might need to park it outside their home for a short period of time in order to prepare for a trip.
However, if a caravan, trailer or boat is left on the road, and is causing an obstruction, this is dealt with by the Police. You should report this matter directly to the Police on 0151 709 6010.