Apply and pay for a new dropped kerb/vehicle access

How to apply and pay for a new or extension to an existing dropped kerb/vehicle access and check what permissions you need first.

What's a dropped kerb?

A dropped kerb (also known as a vehicle access, pavement crossover or driveway access) allows vehicles to enter a driveway or parking area from the road without damaging the highway. This is by the lowering of kerbs and/or the strengthening of pavements and/or verges.

The highway can be the road, pavement or grass verge/bank. You legally need permission from us to work on the highway. 

Read the dropped kerb/vehicle access criteria (Word, 901KB) to avoid your application being refused.

We'd also recommend you read the frequently asked questions about a dropped kerb/vehicle access.

We frequently receive applications that don't meet the criteria and get refused. Please remember the application fee of £300 is non-refundable.

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

  • a new dropped kerb/vehicle access
  • extending or changing an existing dropped kerb/vehicle access
  • working on the footway (pavement), road, verge or public right of way

This application process is only suitable for accesses for one or two dwellings.

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, email or find more information about an application for works licence

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

You'll need planning permission from your local District or Borough council before you apply to us, if the dropped kerb:

  • leads onto an A, B, or C road
  • 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 square metres
  • is associated with other development such as new buildings, extensions or high walls

You're responsible to get planning permission from the local planning authority before you apply.

Find your local district or borough council

If you know who your district or borough council is, find a link for to their planning pages:

If you don't know your local district or borough council, you can visit GOV.UK to find out who your local council is.

Tenants of rented properties

You must get permission from your landlord before you apply.

Other things to consider and get advice about, include:

  • trees
  • bus stops and lamp posts
  • utility apparatus (e.g. telecoms covers, stop cock access points, water meter covers through to larger inspection chambers)
  • drainage/surface water

We recommend you read the dropped kerb/vehicle access criteria (Word, 901KB) before you apply and prevent your application being rejected.

Only apply if you meet the dropped kerb/vehicle access criteria (Word, 901KB). The application fee of £300 is non-refundable.

If a neighbouring property already has a dropped kerb, don't assume you'll also get permission if you apply. Each application is considered against the current criteria.

Download the application form (Word, 149KB)

Send your completed application by:

Go to stage 5 to pay for a dropped kerb application.

Only apply if you meet the dropped kerb/vehicle access criteria (Word, 901KB). The application fee of £300 is non-refundable.

We recommend you do not use Internet Explorer to access our payment system, as you may experience more issues compared to other web browsers.

Your application won’t be processed until after you've paid the application fee.

Proceed to pay

Other ways to pay

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

Suffolk Highways
Phoenix House
3 Goddard Road


Site visit

We'll carry out a site visit to check the application against the criteria and respond within 20 working days.

If you're refused

You’ll receive a response from us explaining the reasons for the refusal.

If you're approved

You'll receive an approval letter and construction drawings if your application does fit the criteria. You can then arrange for an accredited contractor to book road space and construct the dropped kerb/vehicle access to our specification.

The construction work must be completed within 2 years of the date of the approval letter.  Once 2 years have expired, a new application must be made.


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

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 the work.

You are also responsible for ensuring that your contractor applies to the Traffic Management team at 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.

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.

  • Customer Services can answer your questions quickly on webchat.
  • open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm (excluding bank holidays)

The Dropped Kerbs Team aren't available to answer questions before you apply. We recommend you read the criteria and application form (Word, 1MB), application form and frequently asked questions before you apply.