The Need for a Dropped Kerb

Planning Consultant - Chris Scott
Hi, I’m Chris,
I hold an MA in Planning and work as a Planning Consultant

The likely reason you are investigating if you need planning permission for a dropped kerb is you wish to install a new highway access to your property. You may be interested in converting your front garden into a driveway. If a standard kerb is currently in place and you are driving over the existing foot pavement, your local authority could seek costs against you. The reason being the footpath may not have been designed to cope with the weight of a vehicle. Under the pavement, there is likely to be various services such as water, electricity and telecoms which could be damaged.

Is Your Property on a Classified or Trunk Road?

If the proposed access to your property is on either an A, B or C Classified road you will require full planning permission for the dropped kerb. To find out if the road is Classified it will require contacting the local Highways department. In some cases, they provide maps online of which roads are Classified and adopted. In other cases, a quick email or phone call will be needed.

Staffordshire County Council provides a Transport Map of their Classified Roads network.

How many Kerb Stones will need to be Dropped?

Generally, for a standard domestic driveway, five kerbstones will need to be replaced. However, the local planning authority will judge each case on its own merits and may require more or less.

What should be included with a Dropped Kerb Planning Application?

Each local planning department may have slightly different requirements such as including photos etc. However, generally, the same requirements apply which are as follows. A Location Plan of a scale typically 1:1250 with your site outlined in red and two named roads. Furthermore, a Block Plan of either 1:200 or 1:500, again with a red outline of your site. On the Block Plan, you want to include as much detail as possible about your dropped kerb proposals.  Show the height and width of any existing fences or walls, and further detail on any proposed fences or walls. Also, include details of any trees on or close to the site.

Dropped Kerb Sketch
A dropped kerb sketch example provided by Staffordshire County Council

If you are proposing to undertake engineering works such as excavations to your garden and retaining walls you will need to provide more information. Elevations showing the existing and proposed site should also be included with the planning application.

Refusal of Planning Permission for a Dropped Kerb

With regards to how far the dropped kerb needs to be from a road junction or traffic signals, each local authority has slightly different requirements. As an example for Staffordshire County Council Highway Department, they require 15m. Other potential reasons for refusal could include if there is a bus stop close to the proposed dropped kerb.

Furthermore, your application will also be refused if you are not able to provide sufficient space on your property for the vehicle. To avoid overhanging the highway or footpath ideally a parking space depth of 6m will be required, and an absolute minimum of 4.8m. The local authority is primarily concerned with Highway Safety when it comes to dropped kerbs and providing planning permission.

Do I also Need Permission from the Highway Authority?

Yes, this is where it gets confusing for some people. Whether you need planning permission or not for the dropped kerb, in all cases you will require permission from your local Highway Authority. Depending on who carries out the work, it will also require a Permit to Dig for temporary excavations. For instance, on a Classified road, Staffordshire County Council Highways department charges £340 for a permit. In some cases, local authorities do not allow outside contractors to undertake dropped kerb works.

Assistance with Planning Permission for a Dropped Kerb

If you believe you need to submit a planning application for a dropped kerb please get in touch and we can review your requirements. We can discuss the location of your proposed dropped kerb and any issues with highway safety etc. 🙂