Apply for a parking dispensation

Information on parking dispensations and how to apply for one.

Apply for a parking dispensation

You need to apply 3 days in advance for a dispensation to park and there will is a non-refundable £25 administration fee.  You will not be able to park in contravention of a parking restriction unless you have been granted, and paid for, a dispensation.

Any request for a dispensation or suspension will be reviewed against set criteria.   

We are doing this because there has been a significant increase in requests to allow parking in all our busy town centres and a notable increase of convenience parking for trades people.  This has placed a great deal of pressure on our high demand town centre parking, and we need to better manage this. 

A dispensation helps to ensure that trades people, businesses and utility companies can carry out their work safely whilst causing minimal disruption to others. 

Parking dispensations allow a vehicle to park where there are restrictions in place to enable works to be carried out. A dispensation may only be granted for parking on;- 

  • single or double yellow lines 
  • resident permit parking bays 
  • pay and display parking bays 
  • time limited parking bays 

It does not allow parking in bus stops, taxi ranks, school keep clears, disabled bays or where a loading ban applies. 

  Dispensation terms and conditions of use

  • Confirmed receipt of your application form is not confirmation of approval. Dispensation approval is granted on receipt of payment which must be made at least 2 days before the start date. 
  • The dispensation will contain the vehicle registration mark and must be clearly displayed inside the windscreen at all times.  
  • The dispensation is not transferable between vehicles or dates. Changes such as these would require a new application. 
  • The dispensation will stipulate on which street or location the vehicle is allowed to park and the dates and times. 
  • The dispensation does not permit parking anywhere else and will not guarantee a parking space in time limited/residential parking places (see ‘suspensions’ when requiring a specific parking space where restrictions are in place) 
  • The vehicle must not cause an obstruction to other road users or pedestrians and must not be parked (wholly or partly) on the verge or footway.  
  • Materials or goods must not be loaded/unloaded or deposited on the footway/public highway or passed across the footway/public highway if this would cause an obstruction to other vehicles or pedestrians. 
  • If the dispensation is placed in a different vehicle to the one stated, or if it is changed or altered in any way, then it will be deemed invalid and a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued. 
  • The vehicle must be moved when requested by police officer, civil enforcement officer (CEO) or council officer.  If the vehicle is requested to move, we are not required to offer any refund, compensation or alternative parking place. 
  • If it is deemed necessary, a dispensation may be withdrawn without notice by the council on the instructions of a police officer, CEO or council officer. 
  • CEOs employed by Northumberland County Council may conduct inspections to establish the vehicle is being used for the purpose that the dispensation was issued. If the vehicle granted a dispensation is not being used as an integral part of the works in progress, a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued. 
  • Dispensations will not be issued for locations where there is any possible danger to pedestrian or highway safety. 

 

When will a dispensation be granted

Parking dispensations will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and for necessity, they are not intended to provide 'convenience parking'.  For instance, a request to park a van for access to tools or materials will not be granted dispensation as these items should be loaded/unloaded before the vehicle is parked legally elsewhere. 

A dispensation will generally be granted for: 

  • Glazing works 
  • Essential building/maintenance/repair works (where proximity to the site is essential) 
  • Removal vehicles 

Locations and periods  

Dispensation Location 

Maximum No. Of Days 

Single/Double yellow line 

 1 day 

Resident permit bays/zone, pay and display and time limited parking bays 

 7 days 

  A dispensation on a yellow line will normally be granted for one day only.    Dispensations in a permitted parking bay (pay and display, time limited, resident) may be granted for up to seven consecutive days, but for no longer. 

Extensions will require new applications to be submitted to allow a review of the parking, traffic and safety situation. 

On most occasions a dispensation can be planned well in advance, therefore we require a minimum of 3 working days notice.   

We do appreciate there may be emergency situations where notice cannot be given however an application still needs to be made, approved and paid for.  An emergency is anything that may cause harm or danger to persons or property. 

Dispensation fee

From 17 May 2021, once we are satisfied that your request can be approved, a non-refundable administration fee of £25 is payable. 

The dispensation will not be processed until this fee is paid.  The fee covers the administration, processing and issue of the dispensation and any subsequent inspections. 

A dispensation will only be granted for a maximum of 7 days and is vehicle specific. If a dispensation is required for longer, a new application and payment is required. 

There is no discount for multiple vehicles, days, weeks or months or for periods of less than a day. 

If the dispensation is to park for longer than normally allowed in a pay and display parking bay, a further charge will apply comparable with the parking tariff in place. 

Dispensation exemptions

Certain vehicles have an automatic exemption and therefore do not need to apply for a dispensation. This may include:

  • Police, fire and ambulance vehicles whilst engaged on operational duties. 
  • Vehicles being used in connection with postal services. 
  • Vehicles undertaking statutory duties requiring them to be parked at the location or being used for highway maintenance, waste collection or parking enforcement. 
  • Vehicles in connection with statutory undertakers/utility services (such as gas, water, electricity or telephony) which necessitates work on or immediately adjacent to the highway and requires the vehicle at or near the work will be granted permission under the relevant legislation from Streetworks. 
  • The hearse and chief mourner's vehicles at a funeral. 
  • The bridal vehicle at a wedding.  

Apply for a dispensation

To apply for a dispensation, please email parkingdispensations@northumberland.gov.uk giving a minimum of 3 days notice. 

An application must provide the following information: 

  • The location where you require the dispensation.
  • The restriction you would like to park on.
  • Reason for dispensation request.
  • Vehicle registration  
  • Vehicle make  
  • Start & End date (max 7 days)  
  • Business/Traders name  
  • Mobile phone number  
  • Email address  
  • You agree to the terms and conditions that apply YES/NO.

From 17 May 2021 there will be £25 administration fee payable if the dispensation granted, this is payable 2 days before the dispensation starts.  

You will not be able to park in contravention of a parking restriction unless you have been granted, and paid for, a dispensation.  

 

Frequently asked questions about dispensations

What is the difference between a Dispensation and a Suspension? 



A dispensation allows a vehicle to park in contravention of the restrictions in place for a specified period of time. 

A suspension temporarily removes the restrictions in place, securing a length of highway for specific vehicles for a specific purpose. 

Why have you implemented a procedure now?

The procedure will provide a structured process for requesting dispensations and suspensions ensuring that each request is reviewed against set criteria. We are doing this because there has been a significant increase in requests to allow parking in all our busy town centres and a notable increase of convenience parking for trades people.  This has placed a great deal of pressure on our high demand town centre parking and we need to better manage this. 

Where can I get a dispensation to park? 

Parking dispensations allow a vehicle to park where there are restrictions in place to enable works to be carried out. A dispensation may only be granted for parking on;- 

  • single or double yellow lines 
  • resident permit parking bays 
  • pay and display parking bays 
  • time limited parking bays 

It does not allow parking in bus stops, taxi ranks, school keep clears, disabled bays or where a loading ban applies.

Why can I not have a dispensation to park in a bus stop? 

Stopping or parking in a bus stop or stand makes it difficult for the bus to pull in to its designated stopping place. This not only delays the natural traffic flow but also endangers the passengers getting on and off the bus; especially disabled people, as well as people with young children and pushchairs. 

I need to park outside the job because I need regular access to my tools 

Your tools and materials need to be loaded or unloaded and then the vehicle parked legally somewhere else. We will not grant a dispensation because it is convenient for someone to park near to where they are working; only in exceptional circumstances and because of necessity. 

What if I need longer than you have allowed? 

Extensions to a dispensation will require new applications to be submitted to allow a review of the parking, traffic and safety situation. 

How far in advance do I need to apply? 

Most work is planned in advance, so we require 3 days notice for a dispensation request. 

However, when there is an emergency and notice cannot be given an application still needs to be made, approved and paid for.  

An emergency is anything that may cause harm or danger to persons or property. 

Why are you charging us a fee? 

The administration and coordination of requests for dispensations and suspensions across the county incurs a cost to the council.  

The fee covers the administration, processing and issue of the dispensation and any subsequent inspections. 

The payment of a non-refundable fee will also ensure that requests are valid.  

What is an emergency? 

We receive many requests for emergency or urgent dispensations.  

An emergency is defined as anything that may cause harm or danger to persons or property.  For example, you would not be given a dispensation because you urgently need to repair a broken refrigerator in a butchers shop.  While we understand that this may be considered urgent by the business owner, it is not a scenario where we would grant an emergency dispensation.  If you are unable to park near the shop and your tools were too heavy to carry, then you would be expected to offload the tools required to repair the refrigerator, and move your vehicle to a permitted parking space for the duration of the repair.