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Apply and pay for a dropped kerb

How to apply and pay for (or apply to alter) a domestic dropped kerb or vehicular access in Suffolk and what's required before you apply.

A dropped kerb allows vehicles to enter a driveway from the road without damaging the pavement.

 You legally need permission from us to work on a publicly maintained highway for:

  • a new dropped kerb
  • extending or changing an existing dropped kerb
  • working on the pavement, or road, or public right of way

This form of application is only suitable for accesses from one or two dwellings to the public highway and is permitted through the discretionary powers granted to the Highway Authority by the Highways Act 1980 (Accesses to larger domestic developments, industrial or commercial sites should be delivered using S278 of the Highways Act. To discuss entering into a S278 agreement, please email Highways.DevelopmentControl@suffolk.gov.uk or call us on 0345 606 6171).

Before you apply

Planning permission

You will require planning permission from the district and borough council, if the dropped kerb:

  • leads onto an A, B, or C class road (you can check road classes on the List of Streets directory)
  • is within a Conservation Area
  • involves alterations to a listed building or walls attached to a listed building
  • provides access to commercial or industrial premises
  • includes an area that needs paving more than 5 sqm
  • is associated with other development such as new buildings, extensions or high walls

It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain planning permission if required. This must be obtained before submitting an application for a dropped kerb. The local planning authority can advise on the need for planning permission.

Tenants of rented properties must get permission from their landlord before applying for a dropped kerb.

Should a neighbouring property already have a dropped crossing, please do not assume that permission will be granted automatically if you make a similar request.  Each application is considered against the current criteria, as outlined in the application form.

Other types of requests

For access to the A11, A14 or some parts of the A12 contact Highways England.

If you are considering surfacing your front garden to provide a hard standing for vehicles, please read the guidance on the surfacing of front gardens (PDF, 710KB) on the Communities and Local Government website.

How to apply

Application fee

The cost for processing your application is £300. This fee covers inspection and administration and will not be refunded, even if you aren’t successful in getting permission to build the dropped kerb.

You should read the guidance attached to the application form and ensure that your property does meet all of the criteria. Please read thoroughly and carefully.

Download the application form (PDF, 271KB).

If you are satisfied that you meet all of the criteria, you can complete the application form online and send by email to dropped.kerbs@suffolkhighways.org.

Trunk roads

To apply for a dropped kerb on a trunk road, contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000.

How to pay

Your application will not be processed until after you've paid the application fee.

Its quicker and easier to pay online.

Pay

Other ways to pay

You can send your completed application form and cheque for £300, payable to Suffolk County Council, to:

Suffolk Highways
Phoenix House
3 Goddard Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5NP

After you apply

You will receive our decision regarding your dropped kerb application within 20 working days following submission of all the information required for assessment.

Planning the work

It's a legal requirement under the New Roads and Street Works Act (1991) that any contractor excavating or working in the highway has:

  • supervisors and operatives (PDF, 834KB), and
  • valid public liability insurance (with an insured sum of no less than £5,000,000)

As the applicant, you are responsible for ensuring your contractor has the necessary qualifications (Please see link above) and the necessary insurance cover, to undertake work.

You are also responsible for ensuring that your contractor applies to the Traffic Management team at DeveloperNoticing@suffolkhighways.org prior to commencing any work, to arrange the booking of road space. We will also check qualifications and insurance cover at this point. 

It's an offence to carry our works within the public highway (including public rights of way) without the permission of the highway authority. 

Inspection of the Dropped Kerb Access

Following the booking of road space, Suffolk Highways will be made aware of the date when works are to be carried out. 

During this time and after completion, you are responsible for ensuring the area of work is made available for inspection to assess that the crossing is constructed in accordance with our guidance and specification and is in the approved location.

If not, you may be liable for any investigation costs that may be required to determine that the construction of the dropped kerb access meets with the correct standards.

Should the dropped kerb access be different to that agreed, you will be instructed to put it right.  The alternative will be that Suffolk Highways will undertake the necessary work and charge you for this.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The following FAQs have been compiled to help answer any questions you may have around dropped kerbs.

What is a dropped kerb?

A dropped kerb allows vehicles to enter a driveway from the road without damaging the pavement, via the lowering of kerbs and the strengthening of footways and verges.

Can I speak to someone before I apply for a dropped kerb?

Any questions? Our Customer Service Team can help with enquiries relating to application forms or payments. Please call 0345 606 6171, use our web chat facility on the Contact us page or email customer.services@suffolk.gov.uk. Your questions may be answered quicker when using web chat.

Unfortunately, we are unable to answer enquiries regarding advice prior to application. Please refer to these FAQs and the application criteria for further assistance.

What does the fee cover?

The £300 non-refundable fee pays for our engineer/technician to carry out a site visit to assess whether the proposed dropped kerb meets current criteria and would be safe for you, pedestrians and any other road users.

If your proposal is approved, we would also provide your selected contractor with construction specifications and carry out a site visit during/after construction to ensure compliance.

My neighbour has a dropped kerb, will my application be approved?

Only if your application meets current criteria. Your neighbour’s dropped kerb may have been approved under different guidance that is no longer applicable.

Can I meet somebody onsite before I apply for a dropped kerb?

Unfortunately, we are unable to undertake site visits prior to application. Please refer to these FAQs and the application criteria to help you decide if your application is likely to be successful.

If I apply to a planning authority, e.g. the borough or district council and receive planning permission for a structure (such as an extension or garage), does this also mean that the associated dropped kerb is automatically approved?

No. You will still need to apply in order that the dropped kerb application can be considered in the usual way after you have been granted planning permission.

Someone living in the house is disabled – will you take this into account?

Unfortunately, based on current guidelines, it is the property we will assess and not the requirements of the occupier. This is because the property occupier may change in time, whereas the property itself will not.

You may however, qualify for a disabled person’s parking bay. Find more details about advisory disabled parking bays and how to apply.

How long will it be before I receive a response to my application?

Once we receive your application, payment and supporting documents, we aim to process this information within 20 working days. If you don’t hear from us during this time, it is because we’re still dealing with your application.

My application has been refused because my car would overhang the footway, even though I own a small car and I know it wouldn’t. Why?

We will only approve applications if the depth of the driveway is at least 5 metres. Although you may own a small car now, we need to think about the future. For instance, you may purchase a larger car or sell the property to another person who owns a larger car.

It is illegal for a car to overhang the road/footpath and cause an obstruction.

Why was my application rejected when there are lots of other dropped kerbs on my road?

Other dropped kerbs may have been approved under different guidance that is no longer applicable. Applicants should not assume that permission will be granted based on what they see on their road. We assess each application individually and will only approve applications based on current criteria.

I don’t agree with the decision you have made. What shall I do?

If you disagree with our decision, you can write to us setting out the reasons why you consider that we have not applied criteria correctly. Your application will then be reviewed in light of the reasons you have put forward and we will contact you within 20 working days.

Email: dropped.kerbs@suffolkhighways.org or alternatively, write to Suffolk Highways, Dropped Kerbs Team, Phoenix House, 3 Goddard Road, Ipswich, IP1 5NP.

Following a second review, if we still consider your application does not meet criteria, that decision will be final, and no further correspondence can be entered into by the Dropped Kerbs Team.

If you remain dissatisfied following the Dropped Kerbs Team’s correspondence following a refusal, you can contact the Suffolk County Council Complaints Team to see whether anything else can be done to resolve your issue.

Email: customerrights@suffolk.gov.uk or alternatively, write to Customer Rights, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX.

I’ve got an issue with my dropped kerb since it’s construction. Can you help?

If your dropped kerb was constructed over 2 years ago then Suffolk Highways are responsible for its repair/maintenance, so please report any damage/problems using the reporting app on the Suffolk County Council webpage: www.suffolk.gov.uk.

If a fault develops within 2 years of your dropped kerb being constructed, any repair/maintenance works required are the responsibility of the contractor who carried out the work.

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