Whether or not someone uses their driveway area to park a car remains at the resident’s discretion; however, there are certain parking rules that must be followed when vehicles are parked. Through this article, we aim to learn whether a resident can keep their driveway without a dropped kerb. Additionally, we will also discuss how to have dropped kerb installed in your driveway and the role of the planning and building regulation authorities in this regard.
Can I Keep My Driveway Without Dropped Kerb?
Legally speaking, no, you cannot use an area like a driveway without having a dropped kerb. In case a resident needs to drive their vehicle over a footway into their driveway on a highway, they will need to build a dropped kerb. If they fail to do so, they will have to park their vehicle on the street as driving over a footway is considered as breaking the law.
A dropped kerb is made by flattening the pavement to meet the level of the road so that residents can easily drive their vehicles in and out of the driveway, without causing damage to the pavement.
If you are building a new house and you have full planning consent from your planning authority, you will need to seek permission for a dropped kerb separately. You will also need permission from your local council office and highway authority.
Once your application is approved, some councils will allow you to hire a private contractor for the task, while others will get the work done and charge you for it. Charges may vary from council to council and may range between £1500 and £3000; depending on the nature and extent of work involved. There may be additional costs that include the license fee and consult charges of a contractor.
There is a chance that your application for dropped kerb gets rejected by the local council or planning permission, in case of any of the below situations:
- the kerb is too close to a junction
- the visibility is restricted by walls or hedges
- tress, road signs or bus stops would need to be moved
Alternatively, you may be charged a fee of £600 for tree removal and around £3000 for removal of road signs or bus stops; however, in certain cases the rejection withstands.
Can A Blue Badge Holder Park In Front Of A Driveway?
If someone is a Blue Badge holder, they may be able to park in spaces where other drivers may not be able to while staying on main streets but they cannot park in front of someone’s driveway.
Blue Badge concessions are given to drivers with certain medical conditions in the UK, enabling them to park closer to their destinations. A Blue Badge holder can ask their local council to allocate them a parking space that is close to home.
If someone qualifies for a Blue Badge, they may be able to park for free in the following locations:
- Unlimited parking on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines
- Unlimited parking (unless a time limit is displayed on a sign) in disabled parking bays on streets
- Parking for up to three hours on single or double yellow lines (unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign)
However, you must keep in mind that having a Blue Badge does not allow claimants to park their car anywhere; they just qualify for certain concessions in specific areas. They will still need to follow parking regulations and can get fined for breaking parking rules.
Can Someone Park In Front Of My Driveway If I Don’t Have A Dropped Kerb?
Yes, anyone can park in front of a driveway that doesn’t have a dropped kerb; however, individuals must realise that by doing so they will be causing an obstruction for the residents’ vehicles to pass through.
In case a driveway does have a dropped kerb, drivers will be in violation of parking rules and can be charged a fine of £90 for parking in front of it.
If a vehicle is found to be obstructing the driveway of a homeowner, the driver is issued with a Penalty Charge Notice whether or not there is a dropped kerb in the driveway.
Vehicle owners should also keep in mind that if you obstruct someone’s driveway by parking your car in front of it, they may do the same with you by blocking your vehicle as well. Since there is a potential for a dispute in such matters, it is best to avoid parking in front of a driveway.
Do I Need Planning Permission For Dropped Kerb?
Whether or not you need Planning Permission for a dropped kerb depends on the type of road that your house is adjacent to.
You will not need Planning Permission in case the road is listed as unclassified, it is a private road or a private street. However, in the case of either of the following situations, you will need Planning Permission for a dropped kerb:
- the road is listed as A, B or C
- the road is a trunk road or a principal road
- the building is a listed one
- the property is in a conservation area
- the property is a flat or a maisonette
- the property is a commercial or industrial building
What Is Included In Permitted Development?
The scope of Permitted Development runs across varied projects that may be related to the internal or external structure of a property. Home improvement projects under Permitted Development include the following:
- building of a small rear extension
- construction of a porch
- changes of use including loft, garage or basement conversions
- knocking down of internal walls
- installation of solar panels
- installation of satellite dishes
- addtition of rooflights or dormer windows
What Are Building Regulations?
These are some basic standards for the design and structural changes that are to occur and are essential to be met during the construction, conversion or refurbishment of properties. Building Regulations have been set to assure that the health and safety of the residents will not be compromised in any way as a result of the said modifications to the property.
These include the following:
- Structural changes such as house extensions or conversions should not affect a load-bearing wall, beam or chimney breast which will make access to property difficult.
- There should be no electrical safety concerns due to the addition of fuse boxes or plugs, or a change of electrics that causes new electrical wiring.
- Installation of heating appliances such as a boiler, radiator or fuel-burning appliance should be managed with extreme caution.
- There should be no concern for fire hazards due to construction work and the escape route (of the added/converted section to the premises) must comply with fire safety standards.
- Installation of a new bathroom or kitchen should not affect the overall plumbing of the house.
- New windows, doors or fixed air-conditioning systems should meet the safety and design standards set by Building Regulations.
What Kind Of Changes To Property Affect My Council Tax Bill?
There are certain circumstances due to which properties may be revalued and their bands reassigned by the local council. Below is a list of factors that may cause a change in band:
- a part of your property is demolished and is not rebuilt
- the property is altered to subdivide it into self-contained units, (this could be a single unit with an annexe – each unit will be considered under a separate band)
- a single property is reconstructed into self-contained flats
- flats are converted to a single property
- residents start or stop working from home
- changes were made to property the property by the previous owner
- significant changes such as a new road are being made to the local area
- the council tax band was changed for a property with similar features in the same area
While some of the changes listed above are directly related to renovations and repairs being made to premises and they also might be in control of the resident, some might be involuntary and external changes that do have an impact on council tax bills.
Do You Have To Pay Council Tax When Renovating A Property?
If the property is uninhabitable due to the renovations that are being made to it and the nature of work includes structural changes or major home repairs, residents will be exempt from paying council tax for the tenure of the process.
However, if you are unable to qualify for an exemption from council tax, certain home repairs may count you as eligible for a council tax reduction; while renovations that do not affect everyday living and the property remains occupied while work proceeds will not qualify for either an exemption or a discount.
You may be able to avail of a discount on your council tax bill if any of the following repair works are being done at your home:
- repair of roof structures or foundations
- rebuilding of external walls or chimney stacks,
- replacement of floors
- removal of internal walls (not partitions)
The above discussion makes it clear that residents are not legally allowed to use the area meant for a driveway to park their car if they have not installed a dropped kerb. The reason for this is that using the footway outside one’s home is against the law and can lead to a penalty for misuse. Residents must also keep in mind that without a dropped kerb, anyone who requires a parking space for their car can legally park in front of their home; which may cause inconvenience to the residents.
FAQs: Can I Keep My Driveway Without Dropped Kerb?
Can I block my own driveway?
Yes, you can block your driveway to keep away trespassers. However, if you have not installed a dropped kern in front of your driveway, others can legally park outside your house.
Can I park in front of my own driveway?
Yes, you can park in front of your own driveway. However, you must assure that you don’t park across pavements or marked bays.
Can you park in front of a dropped kerb in the UK?
No, you cannot park in front of a dropped kerb. If found guilty of this, you may be reported to the local council or police. You may also face a fine of £1,000.
What happens if you drop kerb without permission?
If you drop kerb without permission, you can be charged a fine of £1,000 by council authorities.
What is the legal height of a kerb?
When dropping a kerb in front of their highway, residents are often advised that a kerb should ideally be 100 mm above the road surface.