An Orpington family don't know where to park their cars after Bromley Council installed two bollards in front of her house.

Joanne Boggans, 53, of Park Avenue, paved over her front garden to use as a parking space for the family’s vehicles as well as vans which are being used while construction work is done, which in practice involves driving over the grass verge of the pavement.

About three weeks ago, a man from a security firm working on behalf of the council knocked on her door and said the family would be fined for damaging the grass outside the house, she says.

After receiving a letter from the council about plans to install bollards, her husband Desmond Boggans, 61, contacted the council and arranged a meeting to discuss the situation and offered to pay for repairs once building work was done.

Mrs Boggans says the couple understood there would be no further action until the meeting took place, but it was cancelled and the next day the bollards were suddenly installed.

She says: “I spoke to the man putting the bollards in and they said there is supposed to be a notice of works and a meeting before anything is done.”

Mrs Boggans thinks it is matter of mismanagement rather than malice, but told News Shopper: “It’s the bully boy tactics I object to.

“A lot of the grass verges on our road are damaged because when the driveways were built, cars were a lot smaller.

“I feel like we’re being picked on – the man from the security firm looked like a bailiff.

“We got a letter two days later but you expect that before they send someone who looks like a heavy.”


To add insult to injury, Mrs Boggans says street parking is impossible as the council put yellow lines outside the house a few years ago, purportedly to stop commuters parking there to walk to Orpington station.

But Mrs Boggans told News Shopper: “It’s a 25-minute walk to the station from our road – no one parks here. We did try to tell the council that.

“We now have vans and builders coming to and from the house to finish the work we’re having done and there’s nowhere for them to park.”

Mr Boggans says: “I hold my hands up - the damage outside our house is quite extensive.

"But [the council's reaction] is completely and utterly unreasonable and all my neighbours are turning round and saying ‘get the bollards out’.

“Our daughters work in the city and I have to keep moving their cars to stop them getting parking tickets.

“We’re stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea here what with the yellow lines and the bollards.”

Councillor Colin Smith, executive councillor for environment said: “Whilst the council would obviously far prefer not to have to take such measures, it will not stand by and see requests to desist ignored and watch both the grass verges and pavements being churned up by vehicles illegally crossing raised kerbs, with the inevitable expense for repairing the damage being borne by council taxpayers.

“The council will always consider potential modifications to existing crossovers and discuss potential options with residents who wish to use their gardens in this manner, but in this instance no such application has been submitted.”