Wheel of fortune: why rich homeowners are installing car turntables


PLANNERS are insisting that new homes next to busy roads install “car turntables” costing up to £15,000.

The devices allow a car to be driven front-first on to a drive, spun through 180 degrees, and driven front-first back on to the road.

Car turntables have been a handy addition to smart urban homes for several years but councils are increasingly insisting on them to reduce accidents.

Mr Simpson turning the car in his drive
Mr Simpson turning the car in his drive


Several local authorities will now refuse planning permission unless the owner can drive front-first into a busy street.

And if your drive is narrow, a car turntable is likely to be the only way of meeting that demand.

A spokesman for Falkirk council confirmed that on busy roads, residents are required to drive front-first out of a drive.

He said: “For classified roads and some other busy roads we do indeed require a turning arrangement within adjoining premises so that vehicles can leave in a forward gear.”

Edinburgh and East Lothian residents building new houses also have to prove they can leave the driveway front-facing.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh council said: “Guidance does not specify a turntable arrangement but if people can prove that they can use one to turn around safely it will be accepted.”


Jim Birrell, Senior Planning Manager at Fife Council, said: ““We would be supportive of the use of a turntable if it enabled an application to be approved where there is no prospect of a conventional turning area.”

East Lothian Council said: “Turntables have been approved as a solution to the problem of turning in a driveway on busy roads.”

Tony Collins,44, who lives in Aberlady, East Lothian, had a turntable installed to comply with planning guidelines.

He said: “The plot that we had was quite small in size. The road we were on was an A-class road and so we would only be granted planning permission if we were able to demonstrate being able to drive forwards both in and out of the property.

The car can be spun around to drive forwards out of the property
The car can be spun around to drive forwards out of the property


“We didn’t have the space to build a huge driveway, but we suddenly had a lightbulb moment and realised that a turntable would work. It was the only solution.”

Mr Collins, who works for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “We were granted the permission because we were able to demonstrate being able to enter and leave the property safely.”


Mark Parkin, a director at SPIN-IT Car Turntables, has supplied turntables to customers who live on busy Scottish roads.

He said: “Councils are now enforcing laws for new builds or changes of use to a property. If you live on a busy road then you have to show you can drive safely in and out – i.e forward facing.

A Spin-It turntable with two cars
A Spin-It turntable with two cars


“Many people, instead of spending thousands on building a big driveway, are having a turntable installed instead.”

James and Ann Simpson, who live on the busy Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, chose to have a turntable installed so that they could drive forwards onto the road.


Mr Simpson, 70, said: “We have been in this house for 38 years and the roads weren’t quite so busy back then.

“We realised that reversing out of our driveway was starting to get dangerous and needed to come up with a solution.

“The council approved planning permission for us to have one installed and since then it’s been great – without one we wouldn’t be able to park.”