Apply for a dropped kerb
A dropped kerb is the dip in the path and kerb that lets you drive up to your house.
The kerb is dropped from the normal height and the path is strengthened to take the weight of the vehicle. Without this, the path and any pipes that are buried below it could be damaged.
The crossing is part of the public highway and available for public use. We are responsible for maintaining it.
To have a dropped kerb, it must:
- leave enough room for you to park your vehicle completely on the property
- be at least 4.8m long between the back of the pavement or property boundary (the face of any wall, fence or hedge for example) and the front of your building. Or at least 6m long where the parking area is in front of a garage or door where adequate means of escape needs to be provided, like a front/back door, escape window etc. If you have any questions on the adequate means of escape please contact your local Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Safety Office
- be a minimum width of 2.4m
- be more than 10m away from a road junction (15m on major roads and busy junctions)
- meet visibility guidelines (this depends on the type of road)
- have suitable drainage near your house
- be at least 1.5m from streetlights and other street furniture
- avoid removing tree roots
- have permission from the property owner.
Use the self assessment guidance (PDF, 466.9 KB) for more information and to check you are eligible.
You must contact your district council planning department before applying to us, to enquire as to whether you will require planning permission for a dropped kerb.
If your district council confirm that you require permission, please forward a copy of the planning permission with your application.
If they advise you that planning permission is not necessary, we will require confirmation. Please include a letter, email, or lawful development certificate from the borough or district council as part of your application for a dropped kerb.
Existing dropped kerbs
To apply for an extension of an existing dropped kerb, you must make a new application.
Application costs and criteria are of the same as a new application. Kent Highways must carry out an inspection to ensure that the extended dropped crossover meets the criteria set.
Payment should be made by cheque (payable to Kent County Council) and enclosed with your application form.
The cost to apply for permission is £320.
£150 will be returned if the permission is declined or not approved.
If you are registered disabled you may be able to apply for financial help from your district council.
Applications are usually handled by the Housing or Environmental Health department at your local Borough or District Council. You may apply direct or through a referral by a social worker or occupational therapist.
The first step is for an occupational therapist (OT) to undertake an assessment of the disabled person's needs. The OT's recommendations are important as they are required as evidence that the changes are essential.
Administration and inspection fees are based on the following rules:
- 2 to 5 properties - £215 per property, (minimum £530)
- 6 to 25 properties - £106 per property, (minimum £1,060)
- more than 25 properties - £2,650 plus additional £106 per property.
Once you have been granted permission, you can employ any contractor to carry out the works as long as they hold:
- New Roads and Street Works Act Accreditations for Excavation and Reinstatement
- £5 million public liability insurance.
Contractors' prices can vary from £1,000 to £2,500. You will be responsible for paying the contractor.
Sometimes additional work is needed to build the dropped kerb. You will need to pay for this. It could include:
- moving a street lighting column
- moving a traffic sign and post
- removing a tree and planting replacements
- changing covers in the path (for example water, gas or cable TV covers)
- getting a traffic management order to change a parking bay.
Dropped kerbs for heavy vehicles (more than 3.5 tonnes) will need to be enhanced. Please write this on the application form.
Due to the current volume of applications, it is likely to take 4 to 8 weeks to process your application from the date we receive it. Once approved, you have 12 months to complete the work. If you have not completed it in this time, you will need to re-apply.
A developer application is required when you are building a new property or renovating an existing property that is not your family home.
We can check if an existing dropped kerb was approved and meets the current maintenance arrangements.
To check this, write to Kent Highways:
Vehicle Crossings Team
Kent County Council
Aylesford Highway Depot
St Michaels Close
Once we receive your enquiry, we will confirm in writing if the kerb is legal or not.
The cost to check is £46.
You may pay by one of the following methods:
- Cheque (made payable to Kent County Council)
- BACS (contact details must be provided within your letter, and we will contact you back to arrange a BACS payment)
Read Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 on dropped kerbs for more information.