Apply for a dropped kerb or access point

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.

You can apply:

  • for a dropped kerb for access to your residential property (to strengthen the public path to take the weight of vehicles and protect the utility apparatus buried below)
  • for a new access point onto and affecting the public highway (you will need to obtain a formal agreement from us, in addition to planning consent from the relevant planning authority)
  • to extend an existing dropped kerb (you are required to make a new application to ensure that the extended dropped kerb meets the current criteria)
  • for a temporary access point for construction work or creation of new vehicle access point(s) if you are a developer who is constructing new. Read further advice on development work and whether you will require a Section 278 legal agreement.

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 or back door, escape window or similar. 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 (see below for further detail)
  • avoid removing tree roots (see below for further detail)
  • have permission from the property owner.

Use the self assessment guidance (PDF, 466.9 KB) for more information and to check you are eligible.

Kent County Council owned trees

We do not support Kent County Council owned trees being removed so a dropped kerb can be installed. You should only apply if you have already established that we would consider the removal of a tree due to the health of it. An additional fee of £60 is required for a KCC Tree Officer to inspect a tree for the purposes of your application. Fees are non-refundable and approval is not guaranteed.

Streetlighting

If a streetlight column is in the installation area, we may not be able to relocate the column as it may affect existing lighting design. An additional fee of £60 for residential applications is required for an engineer to:

  • assess the suitability of the site
  • advise on solutions to protect the column
  • confirm conditions to approve the application.

Please note: All permitted alterations to highway assets or street furniture are subject to costs being met by the applicant.

Planning permission

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.

If you email your application form we will contact you to take payment, or alternatively your application form can be posted with a cheque payment (payable to Kent County Council).

Householder application

The cost to apply for permission is £389.

£180 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.

Developer application

Administration and inspection fees are based on the following rules:

  • 2 to 5 properties - £259 per property (minimum £639)
  • 6 to 25 properties - £259 per property (minimum £1,275)
  • Temporary access - £709.

Larger developments may require different fees and a quotation can be provided on request.

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.

Householder application

Print and complete the householder dropped kerb application form (PDF, 221.2 KB).

Scan or photograph the completed form and email to vehiclecrossings@kent.gov.uk and we will organise to take payment online, or alternatively it can be posted with a cheque payment.

Please note a standard vehicle crossing is for light vehicles, should you require a heavy duty crossing to support larger vehicles(more than 3.5 tonnes) please mark this clearly on the application form.

You will receive an acknowledgement within 7 days of receipt of your completed application and if all the necessary documentation is received  the administration process can take up to 8 weeks to complete.

Once approved and from the date of your Approval Notice, you will have 2 years to complete the works. If it is not completed in this time, you will need to reapply.

Developer application

A developer application is required when you are building a new property or renovating an existing property that is not your family home.

Complete the developer dropped kerb application form (PDF, 209.6 KB).

To track your application you can use our report a problem tool.

Enter your application reference number into the track a fault box at the top of the page.

Track your application

Historical vehicle crossings

We can investigate and search our digital records dating back to 2008 to establish if KCC issued an approval for an existing vehicle crossing. For those installed prior to this date, we can also search our maintenance records and confirm whether KCC supports the continued use of a historic dropped kerb for the purpose of crossing the public highway.

To request a response confirming this information, please either email vehiclecrossings@kent.gov.uk

Or write to Kent Highways at:

Vehicle Crossings Team
Aylesford Highway Depot
St Michaels Close
Aylesford, Kent
ME20 7BU

The cost is £50 and we will contact you to take payment, or alternatively you can include a cheque payment (payable to Kent County Council) if requesting information via our postal address.

Read Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 on dropped kerbs for more information.

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Contractors

Information and forms for dropped kerb contractors.