Dropped kerbs | Oxfordshire County Council

Dropped kerbs

If you would like the kerb outside your house to be lowered to give access to your property.

We are responsible for permitting construction, or alteration, of dropped kerbs (otherwise known as vehicle access crossings or crossovers) for domestic and industrial use. The permission is valid for twelve months and will only apply to land that is part of the public highway. You are strongly advised to check there is no intervening land between your property and the highway boundary. It is for the applicant to obtain any other permissions that are required. You must be the owner of the property to apply. If not, we will require written confirmation from the owner of the property that they are happy for you to apply for an access to their property.

Work to construct the new access shall not begin until written permission has been issued and the Licensing and Streetworks Team has been notified of a start date and the contractor’s details.

How to apply

Complete the application form (pdf format, 215Kb), and send it to the Licensing Team with a sketch plan of the access and the fee of £100 (residential) or £400 (commercial and multiple crossings). A multiple crossing is a single access which feeds 3 or more dwellings.

You must also include a copy of associated planning correspondence (as confirmation that separate planning permission is not required) or planning decision notice.

Planning permission

You will need to contact your Local Planning Office (i.e. your district council) to check whether specific planning permission is also required. This applies in all cases, including proposals to modify an existing access.

If planning permission is not required, we will need confirmation in writing from the district council (there may be a charge for this). Your application will be returned to you if the information is not included. Planning permission will usually be required where the new access is on to a classified road or forms part of a larger development proposal, and in some other circumstances. We will not consider your application until planning permission is granted where this is required by the Local Planning Authority.

Please note that any applications received after 1 August 2016 without confirmation in writing from the district council will be returned without being processed.

District councils

Oxford City Council
Telephone: 01865 249811
Email: planning@oxford.gov.uk

West Oxfordshire District Council
Telephone: 01993 861420
Email: enquiries@westoxon.gov.uk  

Cherwell District Council
Telephone: 01295 227006
Email: planning@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

South Oxfordshire District Council
Telephone: 01235 540546
Email: planning@southoxon.gov.uk

Vale of White Horse District Council
Telephone: 01235 540347
Email: planning@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Road classification

To establish whether the road onto which the new/amended access will lead is classified or unclassified please contact OCC’s Highway Records Team:

Tel: 01865 815 082
Email: highway.records@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Conditions to be met

  1. A crossing will not be approved, or an existing crossing to be widened, so that it covers the full width of your property unless planning regulations require you to provide a number of dropped kerbs which would require you to drop the full width.
  2. Your application may not be approved unless you are able to provide a suitable parking area within your property. This should be at least 5m deep, measured from the front of your house to the boundary of the property, and at least 2.5m wide for a standard car.
  3. If you are a tenant then Oxfordshire County Council will require written confirmation from the owner of the property that they are happy for you to apply for an access to their property.
  4. All highway trees within five metres of the proposed access must be displayed on the sketch plan of the proposed access. Crossings too close to existing highway trees will not be approved.
  5. A crossing will generally not be approved within 15 metres of a junction.
  6. Generally, only one crossing will be approved per property. Separate “in and out” crossings are not permitted. If you have vehicle access to the front and rear of your property crossings at each frontage may also be allowed, provided it is not possible to drive from one to the other through the property. Please contact us for advice in these circumstances.
  7. If your proposal to create a new access or extend an existing one encroaches onto your neighbour’s property line you must enclose written confirmation from the owner confirming they are happy with your proposals.

Where existing dropped kerbs within the applicant's street or locality do not meet this guidance, they will not be considered as a precedent for future applications.  Each application will be considered on its own merits.

Other considerations

Any application for the construction of a vehicle crossing may be refused or modified on the grounds of safety. The applicant must ensure that adequate sight lines are maintained to allow safe access to their property.

If the proposed position of the access is obstructed by a road sign, lamp post, fire hydrant, telegraph pole or tree etc, the location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. If this is not feasible, a decision will have to be made as to whether the item be removed or relocated.  You will be responsible for meeting the cost of carrying out any such removal or relocation.

If your proposal affects street furniture and road signs etc, we will have to consult with other departments and therefore your application may not be dealt with within normal timescales.

Where an existing roadside ditch is affected by a new vehicle access the ditch will be piped in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Agency or local Land Drainage Authority (usually this is your District Council). Oxfordshire County Council will require a copy of the agreement before we can process your application

It is possible that the application is refused if the crossing compromises existing highway trees that are to be retained.

There must be at least 1.2m width for unfettered access to and from the front door and for emergency access.

No part of the vehicle parked within your property may project over the highway.

No part of the footway from the dropped kerb to the property boundary may be used for the purpose of vehicle parking.

You, or your approved contractor, will be required to consult all statutory undertakers to find out if their apparatus is affected by your proposals. The contractor will require this information before they can excavate the highway.

Developments / Temporary site accesses

A Section 184 application applies only to dropped kerbs and temporary accesses to developments, etc. For construction of a bellmouth access you must contact the Road Agreements Team for advice as this would normally necessitate a Section 278 agreement.  For more information email roadagreementsteam@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Further information

A list of contractors that carry out vehicular access works will be sent with the approval letter for information purposes only; OCC does not guarantee the standard of workmanship.

If you decide to use a contractor not on the supplied contractors list, they must supply evidence of relevant Streetworks qualifications and £10 million public liability insurance before any works can be carried out

Your Rights

Please note that the construction of a vehicle crossing outside your house does not give you any particular rights, except to drive across the footway to gain access to your property. The crossing itself becomes part of the public highway once it is satisfactorily constructed

Last reviewed
07 March 2017
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