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Frequently asked questions

How does the scheme work?

It is a self-help scheme, where residents organise the scheme themselves with the support of the council. Once the application has been submitted and approved, the council will instruct the contractors and will pay them directly.

Will I need planning permission?

Generally speaking, the gate will not need planning permission if:

  • the gate stands no more that two metres high from ground level, this includes the height of any fittings such as finials to the gates
  • the gate is at least one metre from the nearest edge of the public highway (this includes the pavement)
  • the gate opens 'inwards' ie it opens towards the alley rather than towards the pavement.

If your proposed gate does not meet any one of the provisions above, please contact our planning services.

There are also restrictions in the case of listed buildings, for more information contact the conservation department.

Obtaining planning permission is the responsibility of residents and a planning application should be submitted before a gating application is sent in. Details of this should be included in your application. Any costs associated with obtaining permission are the responsibility of residents and cannot be reimbursed.

Can we apply for automated gates?

To date, the scheme has only provided manual gates. This is because electric gates are much more expensive both to install and to maintain and need a reliable source of power to operate. If however, there is evidence that residents have established a management company with sufficient funds for the ongoing maintenance of the dates, then this may be considered. Please contact the Improvement Projects team to discuss.

Can the council tell me where the boundaries of my property lie?

Only if the adjoining land (or yours) is council owned.  If you want to check on council ownership you should telephone or write to the Estates and Valuation team or, in the case of a council house, telephone the Contact Centre.

Otherwise, the information you need is usually given in your property deeds or lease. If you do not have a copy because your bank, building society, conveyance/solicitor or loan company has them for safe keeping, you should write to them (or to your landlord, if you rent the property), requesting the necessary information.

Alternatively you can apply to the Land Registry for details. They can be contacted through their website www.landregistry.gov.uk or by 'phone 01792 458877. There may be a small charge for their services.

Who owns the alleyway that runs next to my land?

It may be that you do. However, if you do, other people may have the rights of way over it. This will restrict what you can do with the land. Again, you should consult your property documents. If you don't own it, you may, yourself, have a right of way over the alley or drive. This means that nobody else has a right to obstruct it or prevent you from using it. If the alleyway is council maintained, you can find out by contacting our Estates and Valuation services.

Land ownership can also be confirmed by the Land Registry, There may however be a small charge for their services.

They can be reached on 01792 458877 or via www.landregistry.gov.uk.

What happens if people don't support the scheme?

Schemes with 100 percent support will be looked on more favourably by the council, however it may still be possible for the scheme to go ahead if not all households agree. These schemes are considered on a case-by-case basis and are the exception rather than the rule. In order to be considered, these applications must have the support of at least 80% of householders. For more information contact the Improvement Projects team.

Anyone with objections will be given the opportunity to formally register them with the Council as part of the application process. However, if any residents feel that they are unable to support the scheme because of the impact it may have on their personal circumstances, they are welcome to contact the Improvement Projects team at directly at any time.


Please note: that residents may share with you personal information about their circumstances and every effort should be made to keep this confidential. If a household objects, irrespective of whether they choose to disclose their reason or not, this should not be disclosed to any other residents. For further advice, please contact the Improvement Projects team.

Who is responsible for the gates once they have been installed?

The residents are responsible for all future management of the scheme including any liability of the residents group arising out of their responsibility in relation to costs of repair or reinstatement of the gates. All ongoing maintenance and including damage to or loss of gates is the sole responsibility of the residents - not the police or local authority. All gates will be installed with a minimum of 12 months warranty against construction failure. 

Please note: The council does not carry spare keys for any gating scheme. Residents are recommended to seek advice on public liability insurance for the gates in the event of future damage/maintenance.  If unsure, please contact the Improvement Projects team for further advice and guidance.

If I have already implemented a scheme and want to claim for funding, retrospectively, can I do this?

No. You must follow the procedures as laid out in the alley gating pack as gates must adhere to the specification and be installed by council approved contractors and the Chrysalis fund cannot be responsible for any expenditure you undertake without approval from the Chrysalis Fund first.

How much will residents need to contribute?

The council recommends that residents should make a minimum contribution of 10 percent towards the installation of the gates including the cost of keys. (More for businesses, see criteria) In addition, it is highly recommended that contributions collected should also cover the cost of painting (optional) and future maintenance including repairs from vandalism and criminal damage as these costs will be the responsibility of the households involved in the scheme. A bank account should be set up in the name of the scheme (eg Victoria Road alley gating scheme) to collect these contributions.

Do we give keys to those residents who objected to the initial scheme and to tenants?

Yes. Even though some residents may oppose the scheme, those affected by the erection of gates will still need to be given a key. Not to do so will prohibit their access and this is against the law. If they refuse to receive a set of keys, they should be retained by the Lead Resident.

I recently bought a property that is part of a alleygating scheme but do not have a key.  How do I obtain a key?

The responsibility of providing the key to the gate is by the previous owner of the property.

We use our alleyway for the collection of refuse, what should we do now?

If this is the case, please contact the Waste Division team at Harlington Road Depot on 01895 250034 who will be able to arrange either for the refuse collectors to obtain a key to the gate or arrange for kerb side collection from the front of the residents' houses.

What about access by the emergency services?

Alley gating schemes, such as the one operated by Hillingdon Council, have been introduced by councils across the country. The Fire Service supports these schemes and has stated that the gates do not represent a hazard to them undertaking their duties.

In certain cases, it may be necessary to liaise with the local Fire Safety Officer for advice on schemes where escape routes are required and if this is the case, gates can be adapted with special fittings to facilitate a quick exit where this is necessary. If this is required for your scheme, please let us know so that we can contact the appropriate personnel. Landlords should give consideration to the impact of alley gates as part of their mandatory fire safety checks.

In the case of access by the ambulance services, alley gates are usually positioned to the rear of properties and therefore would not impact on the primary entrance to a building. If this is not the case with your location then the Project Coordinator will be happy to liaise with the Ambulance Service for advice.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 27 Jul 2017 at 14:41