Scaffolding License Woes

By Wendy the Other Half

Oh the joys of dealing with bureaucracy! Roofer booked, Scaffolder booked new roof in the beginning of October. So we were foolish enough to think until the Local Authority steps in. Our street is very narrow, the cottage is not very tall. The LA want a height clearance of five metres if the scaffold is to bridge the road, maybe the circus is coming to town and they need to get the giraffes up (that’s the only thing I can envisage that tall that’s skinny enough to get up our street). If we can’t get that five metres then we need to pay lots of money to put a height restriction on the road for the duration of the works, add to that the additional costs of notices in the local press and signage hire and we’re talking the best part of a thousand pounds on top of the, not unsubstantial, cost of the roof and scaffold in the first place.


Time for a plan B. We look at the LA guidelines and discover that if our scaffold leaves a road width of 2.75 metres then that is acceptable. (If the road is only used by “light vehicles”).  Armed with this information and a tape measure we visit this weekend. Stuff Doer measures the road. A local also tells us that next door had the same sort of “skinny” arrangement that we were considering. So far so good, a skinny scaffold will fit leaving over 2.75 (2.86 to be precise) metres of clear road, now all we have to do is persuade our builder to work from one and pay him for any added labour costs.

 Oh no, nothing so simple as that, the LA have moved their goalposts, or made them smaller. They now want us to leave three metres, so that HGV’s can still get up the street!!!! Never mind that no HGV would ever be able to turn into the street, or that the road is even narrower at a point further down the street. 

We’re now in the process of trying to argue our point, but not being on the spot we’re unable to take precise measurements of the more narrow parts of the street. A job for next weekend then. Fingers crossed etc. that someone will be rational and take another look.

(update: We’ve been given a slight relaxation. If we can leave the road 100mm wider than the narrowest “pinch point” further down, we can have a licence. Apparently as there is no stated width restriction so any one can go up the street with any size vehicle and blame the council if they hit anything )

 Will let you know how we get on.

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