Dropped kerbs are required by law when creating new off-street parking for a property. So, if a neighbour is in the process of having a new driveway and they don’t already have a dropped kerb, they will have to apply for one through the proper channels. And they certainly can't install one without asking the council for permission.
But what are your rights in this situation? Can you object to a neighbour's dropped kerb? And if so, how?
In this article, we’ll look at whether or not neighbours have a legal right to object to dropped kerbs and how to go about solving potential neighbour disputes relating to them.
What is a dropped kerb?
A dropped kerb is a lowered section of the pavement or at the edge of a road, designed to provide safe access for vehicles onto a driveway or private property.
Dropped kerbs are a legal requirement for off-street parking, such as driveways, allowing homeowners to get their cars in and out without causing damage to the pavement or vehicle.
How do you apply for a dropped kerb?
If someone is creating new off-road parking, they’ll need to get permission from the Local Council and, in some cases, secure planning permission if:
The road is a a trunk road, principal road, or a classified road (A, B, or C);
The property is a listed building or located in a conservation area;
The property isn't a single-family home (foe example, if it's been converted into flats);
The footpath will have to be raised or lowered by a significant amount.
The Council does not have to agree to the installation of a new dropped kerb. Sometimes permission might not be granted on safety grounds, because of obstacles in the way, or lack of space.
Can I object to my neighbours dropped kerb?
If planning permission isn’t required for a dropped kerb, generally neighbours will not be given the opportunity to object to it. Instead, the decision will be made solely by the local council's highway authority.
However, if planning permission is required for a dropped kerb, then the local authorities should notify neighbours of the application and they are able to respond with their objections within 21 days.
It may be possible to object to the construction of a dropped kerb if it:
Interferes with your right of way;
Poses a threat to your property boundaries;
Alters the landscape and aesthetics of the neighbourhood;
Compromise their privacy or peaceful enjoyment by increasing foot traffic or vehicle access.
When writing a planning objection letter to the council, it's very important to avoid speculation or making any personal comments.
How to object to a neighbour's dropped kerb
If you've identified a valid and legal reason to object, you should follow these steps:
Talk to your neighbour
It's always best to start with a friendly conversation. Your neighbour may not be aware of the problem or may be willing to make adjustments.
As a general rule, neighbour disputes are best settled privately and as amicably as possible to avoid damaging relationships.
Write a planning objection letter
If talks with your neighbour don't settle the matter and they have applied for planning permission for a dropped kerb, you might consider submitting a planning objection.
This is a formal process, and you'll need to submit a letter.
A property solicitor can help you do this if needs be to make sure your objections are clear and rooted in the law.
Can I object to my neighbour's unregistered dropped kerb?
A dropped kerb that has been constructed without permission of the council or the correct planning permission is classed as an illegal crossing.
If your neighbour has installed a dropped kerb in this way, you should report it to the local who will take action. This could involve them rebuilding the kerb at the cost of the neighbour.
Similarly, driving across a normal footpath without a dropped kerb to access off-road parking is also classed as an illegal crossing. In these cases, the council can tell a neighbour to stop doing so, and take other enforcement action.
Resolving neighbour disputes around dropped kerbs
Disputes with neighbours can be stressful, and it's essential to handle them calmly and sensibly.
If you need expert advice on making an objection to a neighbour's dropped kerb or other property-related issues, don't hesitate to reach out to us today. We're here to help you navigate the sometimes complicated world of property disputes and make it as smooth as possible.