Apply for a dropped kerb

We are responsible for regulating the placement and construction of dropped kerbs (otherwise known as vehicular access) within the public highway.

How to request a dropped kerb

It is essential you read the guidance notes provided below for information on:

  • potential costs involved
  • conditions which may have a bearing on your eligibility

If you feel you are eligible based on the information below you can either apply online or you can email us to request a paper form.

Dropped kerbs

​Vehicular accesses, also known as 'dropped kerbs', are an increasingly common sight in residential areas.


  • grant greater security for parked cars from both random accidents and malicious acts
  • reduce vehicle insurance premiums
  • have a noted upward effect on the value of a property

Under Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 Highway Authorities have the power to permit the construction of vehicular accesses to private properties.

Unfortunately, they are also a source of risk on the highway. The Department of Transport states that 12% of all collisions between a pedestrian and a vehicle involve a vehicular access in some way.

The Highway Authority has a duty to regulate the placement and construction of vehicular accesses within the public highway.

Authorities involved

​If the location of your proposed access is on a classified road (an A, B or C road) you must obtain planning permission from the relevant planning department prior to obtaining a licence.

If the location is within a conservation area, you will need to contact the local town or parish council for any additional requirements that they may have.

In some towns (notably Corby and Wellingborough), there are many grassed areas that are not publicly maintained highway but are looked after by North Northamptonshire Council. If you want to cross this land (and it is your responsibility to determine if such is the case), you need to obtain permission from the relevant council.

Conditions and limitations

​We have placed a number of criteria that a property must meet in order for a construction of a vehicular access to be permitted. These criteria are drawn from accident statistics, central government guidelines and local policy requirements.

Some of these criteria can be relaxed if a resident of the property is the holder of a valid disabled Blue Badge. It may also be necessary for additional work to be done in order for an access to be constructed.

The following criteria must be met by your property in order for construction of an access to be permitted:


There must be an unobstructed space of at least 5m deep by 3m wide within the bounds of your property.

Entrance and visibility

If sightlines are unobstructed from a height of 1.2m there must be at least 3m of space at the boundary of your property and the highway boundary to form an entrance. If this visibility requirement cannot be reached then a minimum entrance width of 5m is necessary.

Corners and junctions

There must be at least 10m between the entrance to a junction or sharp corner and the location of the proposed vehicular access.


There must be no street furniture such as street nameplates or street lighting at the location of the proposed access. It may be possible to arrange for such features to be moved, but the cost for any such works would be borne by you.

The following circumstances will cause your request for construction of a vehicular access to be denied:

Pre-existing access

If there is already a vehicular access to the property then a second one may not be constructed.


If the proposed access would exit into pre-existing public parking, such as a lay-by or pull in, then its construction would not be permitted.

Traffic calming

If there are traffic calming measures e.g. speed humps in the carriageway in front of or adjacent to the proposed access then it would not be permitted.


If there is a tree (or trees) in front of your property such that any constructed access would be closer than 1m to the trunk. This is increased to the width of the tree’s canopy if there is an access on the other side of the tree in question.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and that there are other circumstances that may prevent the construction of a vehicular access.


​We cannot provide quotes for the total cost of the works as the work is carried out by private contractors.

There is a licence and inspection fee of £305 but this should not be paid until the licence is being applied for. This fee can be paid directly by you or by the contractor.

How to apply

Apply using our online form:

Alternatively, request a paper version by emailing [email protected].

What happens next

You will be notified by post regarding the success of your application – this can take up to 28 days.

If your application is successful you will, with the letter, receive a list of contractors approved by the council for this type of works. We will not issue a licence to a contractor not on this list.

Once you've chosen a contractor they will obtain the documentation we require and send it to our office where we will issue the licence to them.

Works will usually commence within 2 to 3 weeks of the licence being issued to your contractor.

Last updated 01 January 2024