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  • FIRST POST
    • ps124
    • By ps124 7th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
    • 92Posts
    • 12Thanks
    ps124
    Dropped Kerb
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
    Dropped Kerb 7th Oct 17 at 10:43 PM
    Hi All,

    I want to drop a single kerb 'unit' opposite my driveway which will enable me to get my second car onto my driveway a little easier. The kerb 'unit' I refer to (because I don't know what to call it) is literally about a meter long (max). When I contacted the council about it, they have said I have to submit an application with a fee of £70. They will review it and if approved, the council provide a quote for the work which I then have to pay. Is this normal?

    The fee im not surprised about, but having to pay the costs of doing the work is a surprise. The person on the phone told me the drop kerb should be at least half the width of the house - which it isn't. So I would have thought I pay the fee for them to review, but why should I have to pay the costs to do the work when the drop kerb doesn't agree to the standard lenght?

    Has anyone had any experiences they could share?

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Oct 17, 12:37 AM
    • 60,985 Posts
    • 356,214 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:37 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:37 AM
    It's work you want done, for your convenience and enjoyment ... so it's no surprise that you have to pay for this convenience and enjoyment.

    It'll cost you about £1000 or so ... the alternative (you not paying) would mean some little old lady round the corner, rubbing her two pennies together to feed her tiny cat, no car at all ... would have to pay her entire annual council tax over just so you could benefit from all that luxury parking area for your second car to be just a little easier for you to use.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 8th Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • 1,201 Posts
    • 1,496 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    As above. Why on earth are you surprised that you would have to pay for the work?

    What next? Would you expect the council to pay to widen your driveway as well? Or perhaps build a garage for you?
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 8th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    • 9,618 Posts
    • 10,778 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 10:49 AM
    If you wanted to make a slight drop from the parking area and this was entirely on your own land then you could do this work yourself without having to pay anyone.
    This however, is the case with a dropped kerb.
    The kerb is the responsibility of the local council and they will want to make sure that the work is carried out properly and safely and the best way for them to do this is to either do the work themselves or get one of their approved contractors to do it and this is something that the householder would be expected to pay for as the work being carried out is to benefit them.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    • 3,309 Posts
    • 6,104 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    ...The fee im not surprised about, but having to pay the costs of doing the work is a surprise. The person on the phone told me the drop kerb should be at least half the width of the house - which it isn't. So I would have thought I pay the fee for them to review, but why should I have to pay the costs to do the work when the drop kerb doesn't agree to the standard lenght?
    Originally posted by ps124
    Councils may have a preferred (or minimum) length of dropped kerb, but there is no such thing as a "Standard length" and the advice about it being at least half the width of the house is complete nonsense - that would depend on how wide the house/garden is for starters.

    If I understand your post correctly, what you think is the council should pay the cost of making the dropped kerb wider because it is less than the 'standard width'. It doesn't work that way. If people want any adjustment to the highway then the council would normally expect to recover the cost of doing the work and legislation gives them the powers to do so.

    The 'unit' of kerbing is simply called a 'kerb'. And if you want the dropped kerb just one metre wider then the work involved is relatively minor. But you must apply to the council to get the work done, or seek their permission to employ your own contractor (depending on their policies). If you decide to go down the DIY route you might find yourself with a very big bill to pay. Expect to pay between £200 and £500 for the work, depending on the council's policies.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 9th Oct 17, 12:21 AM
    • 8,840 Posts
    • 8,533 Thanks
    somethingcorporate
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:21 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:21 AM
    Expect to pay between £200 and £500 for the work, depending on the council's policies.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    You'll be lucky.

    Usually north of £1k.
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Oct 17, 12:03 AM
    • 3,309 Posts
    • 6,104 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:03 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:03 AM
    You'll be lucky.

    Usually north of £1k.
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    For one kerb length addition to an existing crossover?

    But as I said, it depends on the council's policies, some will treat it as minor rechargeable works rather than a full crossover application.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • ktate
    • By ktate 15th Oct 17, 3:51 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ktate
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 17, 3:51 PM
    cost of a meter dropped kerb
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 17, 3:51 PM
    i paid to have my kerb dropped whilei was in hospital and having chemo when i felt better i contacted the council has it was a meter short the original dropped kerb was about £650 i thought they would have come and done the extra meter has anyone can see that they didnt compleat the job but now they want £399 to replace 1 kerb stone so has im still undergoing treatment i couldnt be botherd to chase it up but yes i think if your having a dropped kerb make sure you either mark it out or stand over them and make sure they do the right amount of dropped kerb for you
    • ktate
    • By ktate 15th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ktate
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    cost of a meter dropped kerb
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    i paid to have my kerb dropped whilei was in hospital and having chemo when i felt better i contacted the council has it was a meter short the original dropped kerb was about £650 i thought they would have come and done the extra meter has anyone can see that they didnt compleat the job but now they want £399 to replace 1 kerb stone so has im still undergoing treatment i couldnt be botherd to chase it up but yes i think if your having a dropped kerb make sure you either mark it out or stand over them and make sure they do the right amount of dropped kerb for you
    • chappers
    • By chappers 15th Oct 17, 5:20 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    Councils may have a preferred (or minimum) length of dropped kerb, but there is no such thing as a "Standard length" and the advice about it being at least half the width of the house is complete nonsense -
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Most councils have very controlled widths nowadays, mainly based upon the size needed for vehicular access. our council for example don't allow a drop wide enough for two vehicles any more, nor an in and out drop.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 15th Oct 17, 5:38 PM
    • 35,714 Posts
    • 45,987 Thanks
    McKneff
    A wooden wedge is a lot cheaper.....
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 15th Oct 17, 11:18 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    A wooden wedge is a lot cheaper.....
    Originally posted by McKneff
    Yep but don't complain when someone parks across your "driveway".
    Some people on my mothers street had converted their front gardens to parking spaces, which meant that most of their cars were overhanging the pavement. None of them had applied for dropped kerbs. I used to take great pleasure at parking in front of them and blocking them in. Bit sad I know but it amused me.
    Last edited by chappers; 15-10-2017 at 11:21 PM.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 16th Oct 17, 1:08 AM
    • 4,293 Posts
    • 5,515 Thanks
    jack_pott
    If you're going to drop a kerb, the important thing is to make sure your feet are well out of the way.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    • ps124
    • By ps124 17th Oct 17, 1:25 AM
    • 92 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    ps124
    Thanks for the all replies. I understood it exactly as EachPenny said:

    "If I understand your post correctly, what you think is the council should pay the cost of making the dropped kerb wider because it is less than the 'standard width'."

    As I said before, this is not something that I've ever had to do or come across anyone who has had to do this so I wasn't really sure what to expect.

    Anyway, turns out the cost of the whole operation is well, well over £1000. It'll probably be between £2-4k!

    Reason being that because there is a grass converge between the footpath and highway that will have to be removed as a result of my dropped kerb request (Probably 1m2 area of grass or as the council calls it, 'soft land'). As I need to remove this soft land, my own driveway has to have 50% of soft land to "compensate" - due to some new rules passed in 2008. It doesn't have this so the only way for me to drop this one bloody kerb, is to turn my driveway from 100% concrete to include 50% soft land, or relay the whole driveway with some sort of soft pebbling stuff which counts as soft land. All this for a single drop kerb!

    I dropped to floor when i heard this.
    • lush walrus
    • By lush walrus 17th Oct 17, 5:25 AM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,602 Thanks
    lush walrus
    What they are asking for is a permeable surface, ie a surface that will allow water to pass through it. At the moment you have a non permeable surface, ie a surface that water sits ontop of and will therefore add to the burden on the drainage system.

    In simple terms you are asking them to reduce the amount of permeable surface by removing some of their grass verge to replace with something non permeable, therefore increasing the burden on the drainage system and increasing the risk of fooding.

    The policy change has been widely publicised and has been in place for nearly ten years.

    You can opt for block paving so you can still park on it as long as the jointing allows for water penetration and resin for example again aslong as it is pereable therefore bound not bonded. Fact is what you have at present would not be permitted now, so once you ask for a change they will try to rectify this.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 17th Oct 17, 7:40 AM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    You can opt for block paving so you can still park on it as long as the jointing allows for water penetration .
    Originally posted by lush walrus
    That has now been tightened up too and the blocks themselves also need to be permeable.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th Oct 17, 9:51 AM
    • 3,309 Posts
    • 6,104 Thanks
    EachPenny
    ...In simple terms you are asking them to reduce the amount of permeable surface by removing some of their grass verge to replace with something non permeable, therefore increasing the burden on the drainage system and increasing the risk of fooding.

    The policy change has been widely publicised and has been in place for nearly ten years.

    ...Fact is what you have at present would not be permitted now, so once you ask for a change they will try to rectify this.
    Originally posted by lush walrus
    There are two separate issues here and the Council officer (perhaps following policy, perhaps not) is getting them confused.

    If the OP was planning on constructing a new driveway then the new rules on impermeable surfaces would apply. But since the driveway is existing there will be no additional burden on the drainage system. There is no change of use nor 'construction activity' within the OP's curtilage (as far as I understand) therefore planning law or building regulations etc do not come into play.

    It is arguable that an additional m2 or so of paved surface replacing grass verge within the highway boundary is adding to the discharge to the drainage system, but the impact is negligible. Since the works are within the highway and consist only of modifications to the surface, planning consent is not required and the impermeable area rules do not apply.

    This doesn't stop the Council making its own rules, but if challenged in Court it is unlikely the council could defend a policy of requiring the OP to remove 50% of his impermeable driveway to compensate for an additional 1m2 of impermeable highway. I'm not suggesting the OP goes to court, but just pointing out that the decisions the Council makes must be reasonable, which then guides his next course of action....

    Reason being that because there is a grass converge between the footpath and highway that will have to be removed as a result of my dropped kerb request (Probably 1m2 area of grass or as the council calls it, 'soft land'). As I need to remove this soft land, my own driveway has to have 50% of soft land to "compensate" - due to some new rules passed in 2008. It doesn't have this so the only way for me to drop this one bloody kerb, is to turn my driveway from 100% concrete to include 50% soft land, or relay the whole driveway with some sort of soft pebbling stuff which counts as soft land. All this for a single drop kerb!
    Originally posted by ps124
    ...so the Council are taking a mix-and-match approach to their policy making. This might be due to a confused Council officer who doesn't understand the rules and is rigidly applying the 'normal' approach to your unusual circumstances, or it might be deliberate Council policy. You need to establish which it is.

    The first thing I would ask them for is a copy of their policy on the provision of dropped kerbs and check this to see if it states that the impermeable surfacing rules will be applied retrospectively in the event of any requested changes to the highway part of the driveway. It is unlikely this will be formal policy, but you need to know before proceeding.

    The second thing is whether it is possible for you to replace part of your driveway with impermeable area, but only the area exactly equivalent to the area of grass verge the council would need to pave over (i.e. 1m2). 1m2 in a double driveway equates to a very small strip along one edge and could be easily done by a competent DIYer. This change would be minor and unlikely to need planning consent, but that is something to consider at a later point in the process and don't offer to do this unless you absolutely have to.

    The next thing to do is to contact your local councillor (if more than one you need to do a bit of research to find out the best one) and ask them to visit you to discuss the problem.

    Hopefully common sense would prevail and the councillor will be able to persuade the officers that their demand is disproportionate to the amount of verge lost. You may be able to get them to accept that the loss of verge is trivial and can be ignored. But (later on) you might need to offer an exact equivalent of 'new' permeable area in your driveway to compensate for the amount lost on the verge. (like for like) - subject to clarification that you wouldn't need planning consent to do so.

    If following your meeting with the councillor they refuse and stick to the 50% rule then they have made a 'decision' which (only theoretically) could be subject to judicial review on grounds of reasonableness.

    But nobody in their right mind would go for a judicial review over such a minor issue Your best course of action (after exhausting the Council's own complaints process, during which you offer the like-for-like swap) is to then make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. They look at complaints about maladministration, which I think would cover your circumstances. Either the council is randomly or inappropriately applying a policy, or it has no relevant policy, or it has a policy which is unreasonable in the circumstances. (it isn't clear, which is why you need to work that bit out first).

    Bear in mind every day the council will be carrying out minor works on the highway removing small bits of verge to widen footways, build pedestrian crossings, build cycleways etc, it is very unlikely that they apply the retrospective 50% rule to their own works (how could they!) so in comparison what you are asking for should not even be a consideration.

    But you will need to pay for the work in the highway if they eventually agree to do it - that you cannot avoid.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • ps124
    • By ps124 7th Nov 17, 12:37 AM
    • 92 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    ps124
    Super advice. Thanks EachPenny. Need to have a think about this and what I want to do. Seems like a lot of hassle for a single drop kerb. Thanks for your advice though, much appreciated.
    • D6TMC
    • By D6TMC 23rd Nov 17, 12:01 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    D6TMC
    Hi can anyone tell me how I can ask for some advice on having a dropped kerb denied by my local council.
    I have a end terrace property, which I have created off road parking at the front of the house, all of the other terrace houses have had their kerbs dropped. I have the widest and longest out of the lot and the council have just denied me the right to lower it. Thank you
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 23rd Nov 17, 2:54 AM
    • 5,785 Posts
    • 5,573 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    Hi can anyone tell me how I can ask for some advice on having a dropped kerb denied by my local council.
    I have a end terrace property, which I have created off road parking at the front of the house, all of the other terrace houses have had their kerbs dropped. I have the widest and longest out of the lot and the council have just denied me the right to lower it. Thank you
    Originally posted by D6TMC
    Did they give any reason ? (e.g as you are an end terrace, are you in close proximity to a road junction ?)
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