This is the only window on the ground floor at the front of the house where it's letting in any light at all. The police cones were placed there by the local constabulary to stop him obstructing the junction and thus preventing the school coach from exiting. The school coach drops off and picks up at various times - not just at the start and end of the school day - school pupils also travel to swimming lessons in it.
Other coaches use the junction at the weekends; there is a coach pick up point from outside the Methodist Church for regular outings and day trips. As well as the church, there is a primary school, doctor's surgery, public house, part time police station and special needs school also up that road so the junction is in constant use by delivery vehicles.
The above is an example of his exemplary parking opposite the junction on Sunday 15 January. The law is you're supposed to leave 10 metres clear of the junction to enable long wheel-based vehicles to exit.
I can't see anything out of my dining room window except for this van as we're four feet below pavement level. If it were a car parked here, it wouldn't block nearly as much light.
Even legally parked, it dominates the view when I'm working at my computer. Instead of seeing a green verge and a nice old honey coloured stone wall, all I can see is Belfor - Belfor - Belfor. I am so sick of this company.
I can only guess that he's either ill, on holiday, a colleague is picking him up or the company has no work for him on the days on end when it doesn't move. Am I wicked for hoping that Belfor go bust?! I certainly wouldn't want to use this company to do any work for us.
On 7 February, we were expecting a visitor in the evening. Knowing Mr BellEnd (as we unaffectionately call him) would probably park outside the house again and therefore not leave any space for our visitor, we decided to park outside the house ourselves (leaving plenty of room for the coaches) so that our visitor could use our driveway.
One Friday afternoon, 10 February it was outside our house again. Lovely; looks like we've got it there for the weekend. But on the Saturday, it had moved to an adjacent road for some of the day, next to a high fence and so wasn't blocking anyone's light or view - far more considerate parking. I wonder why he doesn't park there all of the time? It's no further for him to walk to his house but he has to cross the road; oh well, maybe he didn't do his Tufty badge at school.
On the Sunday of the same weekend, here he is back again, parked right up tight up against one of our visitor's cars. Unless he specifically moved it to park outside our house (which seems rather petty, let's give him the benefit of the doubt on that), moving it about both days over the weekend means he's probably using it for private purposes. Commercial vehicles are exempt from P11D taxation only if they're used exclusively for work purposes. There's a baby seat on the passenger side; at the very least he must be ferrying around a young child in it. I do hope he and his company are paying appropriate taxes on it.
I know I don't own the road or parking spaces outside my house. I have never complained about cars outside my home (provided they aren't blocking the junction). An additional factor is there used to be room for two cars there and now there is only room for that one vehicle, if we want to park a car there (for example while we have a delivery of logs on the driveway) we have to infringe on our neighbour's frontage which we wouldn't do because we think that's inconsiderate and unneighbourly so we go elsewhere. This means there are two fewer parking spaces on this end of the street and so more and more often our neighbours' visitors are blocking the junction leaving us with the possibility of drivers knocking on our door asking us to move it.
When vehicles block the junction, I feel I can't relax in my own home because any minute now, someone will knock on the door. Fortunately, the police cones are now doing the trick and no-one has blocked the junction since they've been out. We're going through the motions of getting yellow lines painted which will remind drivers of the distance they need to leave clear and then the police can remove the cones. It's going to take several months though. Thank you, Belfor, I love all the beaurocracy, telephone calls, paperwork and attending parish council meetings that this entails.
When the Belfor van is legally parked (but still blocking my light), I have to put up with it but that doesn't stop it being irritating and I'm not the only one who is cross about having a commercial vehicle that's nothing to do with me or our village parking outside my house.
Our neighbour two doors down is so fed up he has installed a new drop curb and turned half of his previously flower filled front garden into a new driveway in order to be assured of a parking space near his home. It's costing him thousands.
I understand others have also complained to Mr Belfor about parking outside their homes and his standard retort is "where am I supposed to park it then?" I think the answer should be back in your company's yard or compound. There should be no place for commercial vehicles on a residential street unless they're making deliveries or effecting repairs in the immediate vicinity.
One of the most annoying things about all this is my husband also works for a building company who operate a fleet of 40 commercial vehicles. They have a comprehensive Transport Policy as part of their Considerate Builders Policy containing a Code of Behaviour concerning liveried vehicles. Vans of this size have to be returned to the depot at night, drivers are not permitted to take them home. Smaller car-sized vans are only permitted home if the drivers have off-street parking like a private driveway.
Companies like Belfor who allow vehicles to be dumped on residential streets are cutting corners, reducing their costs and winning work from legitimate companies like my husband's, who have proper company facilities. This makes Belfor look like a fly-by-night internet company with artificially low overheads and no consideration for the communities they affect.
Autoglass have a secure parking area close to the services on the A1 just a mile or two from here where their drivers leave their vehicles when they're not working. This is a much better solution than dumping large commercial vehicles on residential streets. Presumably, Autoglass are a company who care about public perception of their business and I applaud them for this.
On 6 February, our immediate next door neighbour, who has had as much as us - if not more - to put up with, suddenly went up for sale/to let. The thing is, when the van isn't abandoned for days on end and Mr BellEnd does move it during the day (presumably to go to work), he's back parking it up again between 3 and 4pm, much earlier than they get home from work. I was chatting to them recently, she said on frosty mornings, he runs his engine for 20 minutes right under her bedroom window. OK, you've got to clear the windshield but do you REALLY have to have the stereo blaring as well first thing in the morning? Now that's very anti-social; our house is set back a bit further from the road and our bedroom isn't next to where he parks so fortunately, we weren't disturbed. But anyway, have a guess what one of the factors in their decision to move is ... yup! Poor people were counting the days in the end, they said they hadn't planning on moving until next year but decided to go early because of the van.
We've mostly solved the problem of Mr BellEnd taking our light. We've taken to parking our own car outside our house pretty much all the time we are at home, we're fortunate in that Geoff works from home quite a lot of the time. BellEnd has only managed to nab the space off us a couple of times during the past few weeks, in which case we just use our driveway.
On Saturday 11 March, before we went to bed, my husband took the dog out for a quick walk at around 11.30pm, all was well out the front, nothing was amiss but when we got up on Sunday morning, one police cone was on top of our car and the other two were on the war memorial opposite. I would've put this down to youngsters getting up to mischief but due to it happening in the early hours of the morning, I doubt it was kids.
Not long after the police placed the No Waiting cones on the junction, the windscreen wipers of our car were tampered with one Saturday night. They were left jutting upwards; someone had been messing with them. Of course, I have no proof who did this but I only have one suspect with a motive.
On Tuesday, 22 March, Mr BellEnd was parked outside the - now empty - house next door. At 6am the van's stereo was so loud it woke up our neighbour with the new driveway. I understand there was an early morning confrontation about it.
So, all of this is because a Belfor van with an anti-social driver suddenly appeared on our street in the last few months ... opinions please .... are we good people of Colsterworth being unreasonable by getting cross and territorial about this? I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone else having problems with Belfor's drivers' anti-social behaviour and/or illegal parking. As Belfor have offices all over the UK, I'm thinking there must be other communities having similar problems.