Open Front Parking

Harlow New Town was originally designed so that front gardens would be “open” in appearance – with no fences, walls, intrusions or parking of any vehicle. However, changes over the years have meant that, in some cases, Harlow Council has started to relax these policies. More people own cars now than ever before, which has made parking in some areas a problem. Residents now want to be able to park cars on their own front gardens.

If you want to park on your front garden, you must get permission from the Council first. This applies to all residents in the town – not just Council tenants.

What is open front parking?

Open front parking forms part of the restrictive covenants that apply to most of the properties in Harlow. To enable residents to park on their front gardens Harlow Council needs to approve a change of use from garden to paved area. Permission needs to be obtained before any alteration / work is carried out.

Dropped kerbs

The dropped kerbs are dealt with by Essex County Council, once permission has been given by Harlow Council, details are passed on to Essex County Council Highways for any dropped kerb work.

How do I know if my garden is suitable?

For Open Front Parking you need direct access to the front garden from the road / public highway. The parking space (within your own property) for your vehicle must have a depth of 5.5 metres (at approximate right angles to the road) by a width of 2.9 metres, leaving a quarter (25%) of the front garden to grass / shrubs.

Please note: we will not allow any vehicle crossing where the depth of the frontage parking space is less than 5 metres so please do not apply as your application fee will not be refunded.

Harlow Council has set criteria that your front garden needs to meet these can be found in our Open Fronts policy and guide.

How do I apply?

The guidance notes, policy and application form can be found on the Covenant and Open Fronts application forms page.

When completing the application please provide a drawing of your front garden indicating the measurements of the garden and the area you intend to pave; ensuring that you meet the criteria specified in the guidance notes. The application process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Contact details will be given for Essex County Council in the final approval letter.

Do I need planning permission?

Depending on the material being used to construct the hardstand. If a porous or permeable material is being used or drainage (soakaway) is incorporated planning permission may not be required. If you are unsure always check with Harlow Council’s Planning Team.