Driveways are often classed as permitted development and therefore rarely require planning permission. Exceptions to these rules tend to be properties in conservation areas and listed buildings. There are certain regulations you’ll have to bear in mind though, such as not making property access more difficult.
Permeable materials must be used also. These would include the likes of gravel, concrete or natural stone. Another essential to consider is not building the drive higher than your damp proof coursing. The last thing you want is rising damp problems.
For most homeowners looking to insert a drive onto their property, there’s just one obstacle to manoeuvre; dropping the kerb.
Do I need a dropped kerb?
The answer is simple. If you intend to use a driveway whereby the vehicle would pass over the path, you will need to have the kerb outside your home dropped.
You must apply to the local council to have the kerb dropped. Homeowners often fall into two pitfalls. Some won’t receive permission to drop the kerb and this can result in large fines. Others won’t bother dropping the kerb and face similar action. In fact you can also become liable for any damage to the path caused from driving over it.
How to apply for a dropped kerb
An application needs to be made to the local council. Before doing so, make sure you have your ideas penned and know exactly where you want the new driveway to go. If you want to extend the driveway itself then it’s important to know by how much. It’s not commonplace for driveways to be rejected as local councils are keen to get cars off of the road, but if your plans are too grand it could restrict parking capabilities for neighbours.
Once you have made an application to the local council they’ll send someone round to have a look at your property. It’s best if you’re home at the time because the expert will be able to advise you on the best course of action in case your original proposal would be rejected. After all, it costs you when the council send in the experts so you don’t want this to be dead money.
Essentially your plan will either then be approved or rejected. Some councils will then issue you with the names of professionals who can drop the kerb whilst others will let you choose your own expert. Whatever the case, make sure to compare quotes in order to get the best price on the market.
How much will it cost to drop my kerb?
Prices range depending on the area, the footpath in front of your home and the size of drop needed. In 2012 the average price of a two metre dropped kerb was around £630. Remember, you can still have a larger drive, big enough to fit two cars, without needing the same width in dropped kerb.
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