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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 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

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.


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

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 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.


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