A FAMILY who have suffered repeated damage to their cars while they are parked outside their home are being denied permission to build a driveway due to a small bush, it is claimed.

The Stares, of Canfield Road, Woodford Bridge, say the three cars they own have been dented and scratched by vehicles struggling to navigate the narrow street, which has cars parked on both sides.

Last week 21-year-old Tommy's Polo was marked by the tyres of a large vehicle and will cost an estimated £300 to repair.

His parents Maxine and Tim have repeatedly applied for permission to build a driveway outside their home to solve the problem.

But they claim Redbridge Council will not allow the removal of a one-metre high hedge to enable vehicle access from the street because it would contravene guidelines on maintaining greenery in residential streets.

Mr Stares senior said: "If it was a 300-year-old Oak tree outside my house I could see their point, but we are talking about a little bush.

"We just can't believe that a small bush, that the council doesn't even look after, is stopping us from parking our cars off the road. It is just ridiculous.

"It's not like all the other houses are blue and I'm asking to paint ours pink and stick a dinosaur on the roof."

His wife, Maxine, 46, added: "The whole situation has made me really angry.

"We would move away, but we can't afford it. We are fed up of paying for damage which isn't our fault."

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: "The residents in question applied for dropped kerb for in June 2010. Their application was turned down, as was a subsequent appeal.

"This was because installing a dropped kerb would have meant the removal of various shrubs, bushes and greenery in the road.

"The council has a policy to protect verges and ensure that greenery and shrubbery are not lost to development in order to make the area a greener place to live."