Whilst dropped kerbs and domestic crossovers can seem an innocuous part of our urban realm, it is worth considering the implications as guidance and the application process varies depending on Local Authority.
Local Authorities often make their guidance available, but as a rule of thumb, they often require 4.8m of hard landscaping to be installed in advance of any works to drop the kerb being undertaken; depending on local policies and the construction, this may require planning permission. Between 3.9-5.4m of street frontage is typically needed but varies between Authorities.
An inspection is often required to approve any application, which will check whether the property is considered suitable for the works. Whilst no statutory appeals process exists under the Highways Act 1980, you should be given written reasoning should your application not succeed, it may be possible to ask the Local Authority to reconsider, however.
Complications arise on tight sites where evidence about manoeuvrability might need to be provided. Additional consents, such as planning permission in conservation areas, for example, may be required before an application can be considered. Some streets can have the rights to install dropped kerbs removed due to the stresses it can place on on-street parking.
Local Authorities undertake all construction works relating to the forming or removal of dropped kerbs themselves through their own approved contractors to ensure the quality of the public realm is maintained. The cost of all works is, however, always borne by the applicant and paid to the Local Authority in advance of any works being carried out.
In complex cases where street furniture or utilities needs to be relocated, the costs of this are again borne by the applicant. If traffic markings/restrictions or parking bays need to be amended, then you may also be required to pay for the variation of traffic management orders (which control these). This can incur legal costs in addition to the cost of the physical changes needed to the street.
Lastly, it is worth having a contractor in place as some Authorities place time limits on the completion of works from the date of their approval and can charge additional fees if any hard landscaping is not installed in time.