Applying for a new dropped kerb

If you need to drive across the pavement to get your vehicle into your driveway, then you must, by law, have a vehicle crossover constructed. This strengthens the footway to protect the surface and prevents underground cables and pipes, supplying services to the properties, from being damaged.

The London Borough of Bexley only permits the construction of a dropped kerb to be undertaken by its Term Highway Maintenance Contractor.

Before we approve your application for a residential, domestic vehicle crossover, you'll have to have an inspection. Then, one of our Highways officers will see if it's possible to build it and confirm the cost for the works. There is an administration fee of £50 (non-refundable), which includes 1 site visit with up to two estimates per visit.

Please read the dropped kerb application checklist before you start

Is planning permission required?

Check the following to see if you need planning permission:

  • Check if you live in a classified road - If you live in a classified road, it is likely that planning permission will be needed before a dropped kerb can be constructed
  • Check if you live in a conservation area - You may need planning permission if you live in a conservation area
  • Commercial property - All commercial properties will require planning permission
  • Multi-dwelling property - If the property is a flat or maisonette, the property may not have the development rights to change the purpose of the front garden to park on, therefore, planning permission will be required
  • Structural work - If structural work is required to your property to accommodate a vehicle, you may need planning permission
How to find out if I need planning permission?

To find out if you need planning permission, email developmentcontrol@bexley.gov.uk for guidance.

Housing association property

If your property is a housing association property, you will need to get written permission from your housing association to park on the driveway. A copy of this permission will need to be sent to the Council when it is requested.

Ex-Council or Housing association property

If your property is an ex-Council/housing association property, there may be a covenant or agreement on the property which may not allow parking on the area at the front of the property.

You should check the deeds to see if there is a covenant on the property.

The effect on the environment

It is a legal requirement that impermeable surfaces greater than 5m2 must have planning permission. Where permeable material is used, then this can be installed under Permitted Development rules.

Dropping a kerb can allow water from the highway to enter your driveway and potentially towards your property. By requesting a dropped kerb, you could be increasing the flood risk of your property and as such you should take measures to protect your own property from flooding.

When choosing materials for your driveway, consider using porous or permeable materials such as gravel, crushed stone, bricks or paving that allows water to drain through into the soil below. Installing a soakaway will prevent rainwater run-off and avoid overloading the drainage network, reducing the risk of flooding.

The area of hard standing need only accommodate vehicle tracks and paths, leaving the opportunity to incorporate porous materials and greenery creating a softer appearance.

Is my garden big enough to park vehicles on

It is necessary to check the size of the frontage of your property to ensure that a vehicle can be parked without overhanging the pavement.

It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 for any part of a vehicle to overhang the highway and it is subject to a fine. A vehicle standing area of a minimum size of 2.4 metres wide and 4.8 metres deep must be situated within the property boundaries when parking at 90 degrees to the property.  If this standing requirement is not met, it may be possible to allow a vehicle to park parallel (across the front of the property) within the property boundary, the vehicle standing area must be a minimum of 4.8 metres wide and 3 metres deep.

There is a tree where I want a dropped kerb

There is a general presumption against the removal of trees to facilitate the construction of dropped kerbs.

The Council will only approve the construction of a new car crossing that requires the removal of a street tree/s in the following circumstances:

  • immature trees - the  application will be approved if the tree is immature, example planted for less than three years
  • established trees - the application will be approved if the health of the tree is expected to significantly decline within three years
  • a tree will not be removed, regardless of the age or condition of the tree, to facilitate the extension of an existing dropped kerb
  • approval for the extension of a dropped kerb will be refused where the root system of a tree will be extensively damaged through construction work
  • a tree planting pit will not be removed or made unusable to facilitate the extension of a dropped kerb
  • exceptions may be granted to disabled drivers (see section below about Blue Badge Holder)

There is a lamp column where I want a dropped kerb

It may be possible to relocate the lamp column, however, there is a cost involved with this.

Make your application and mark the footway where you wish to have your crossover constructed or extended. The Technician will inspect the site to ensure all criteria are met and will arrange for the Street Lighting team to assess and if practicably possible, provide an estimate for the cost of relocating the column. The cost of this work will be incorporated into the vehicle crossing estimate.

There is a controlled parking zone (CPZ) or other restricted parking bay outside my property

The Technician will inspect the site to ensure all criteria is met to enable a crossing to be constructed/extended. If there is a parking bay which has any form of restrictions to use on it, which would require removal/adjustment to accommodate the crossing, these bays are covered by a Traffic Management Order (TMO). There is a statutory process that has to be followed to make changes to the TMO. There is a non-refundable fee of £1,140 towards the cost of changes to the TMO. However, should objections be received to the proposed changes, these are reported to the relevant Cabinet Member. In the event of an objection being upheld then the proposed changes to the bay cannot go ahead and the request for the vehicle crossing cannot be granted.

See all controlled parking zones

There is a utility cover/equipment where I want a dropped kerb

If all criteria are met to enable a crossing to be constructed/extended but there is utility equipment (manhole, cabinet etc.) within the area, a request will be made for the relevant statutory board to inspect the site and their apparatus and advise if any adjustment is required to their equipment and at what cost.

In the case of Virgin Media, they require a non-refundable inspection fee of £240 to be paid before they will inspect the site and advise of any additional charges. The application and payment for this inspection can be made through London Borough of Bexley.

If there is any cost involved with the adjustment of the equipment this will be shown within the vehicle crossing estimate.

I am disabled and there is a tree where I want a dropped kerb

The council tries to help people with disabilities and will allow the removal of a street tree/s to provide a dropped kerb.

To ensure the Council acts fairly and consistently, applications for dropped kerbs close to trees must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • applicants must hold a Blue Badge, if there is any doubt about eligibility, checks will be made
  • there must be a suitable and safe location for the crossing, which does not obstruct or impede other vehicles
  • the applicant does not have existing off-street parking
  • the Council has refused the provision of a disabled parking bay
  • the applicant must be the driver of the vehicle kept at the applicant's address

Where the applicant is a passenger and is Blue Badge Holder, a crossing will be provided if:

  • it is impractical or unsafe for the driver to pick up or set down the passenger by the side of the carriageway, or
  • there are no safe locations within 50 metres of the passenger's property for parking (high levels of on-street parking does not count towards this measurement), or
  • they are a registered disabled child, checks may be made

Costs

  • the cost of constructing or extending existing dropped kerb is based on the total size of the proposed dropped kerb and the footway area to be treated.
  • charges start from £1385 (from 1 April 2023) for a dropped kerb and charges for extensions to existing crossings depend on the area concerned
  • it should be noted that removal of any street furniture (Council or Utility Company-owned), or the need to use traffic management to undertake the work, will attract additional costs

How long will it take

  • the estimate will take up to 10 working days from receipt of the application and fee. Where additional works to lamp columns, trees, underground chambers, or parking controls would also be required, the quote may take longer due to input from other internal or external parties
  • the works would normally up to 14 weeks from receipt of payment for the crossover
  • wall/fence/hedge obstructions will need to be removed prior to works where necessary
  • if you have any street furniture outside your property that requires moving/removal, this may delay the process further
  • if you are planning to install/change the vehicle standing area before the vehicle crossover is installed, please mention this as part of the application process, as this could affect how the work is carried out

Application for an estimate

If you are interested in having a dropped kerb constructed outside your property, you need to put two marks at the back of the pavement where it meets your property boundary, indicating the location and the width you require.

Alternatively, if you wish to extend your existing dropped kerb, place a mark indicating which side requires extending and by how much:

Start new dropped kerb request