In order to ensure that vehicle crossings are properly constructed, all domestic vehicle crossings must be built to a specification provided by the Transportation, Design and Planning Department who are part of the Council. They must approve the locations, specification and contractor before the work is carried out.
Planning permission is not usually required for such work, but will be if:
- The property involved has the frontage directly on to a classified road.
- The property involved is a listed building.
- The property involved is other than a house for a single family, for example a flat, maisonette, commercial or industrial premises.
If it appears that your property comes within one of the above classifications then you will require planning permission
The construction of a vehicle crossing does not give the occupier of the premises any particular rights, except to drive across the footway to gain access to his/her property with a private or light goods motor car. The crossing itself is part of the public highway. From the date that the Council accepts the completed crossing, they will assume responsibility for its maintenance at no cost to the occupier, apart from any damage caused by illegal use by heavy vehicles, etc.
If you decide to go ahead with the construction you must remove the fence, wall or hedge within the property at the place where the crossing will be located before construction can take place.
Construction and usage conditions of a dropped kerb or crossover
The following is a list of conditions relevant to the construction and the use of a domestic vehicle crossing after it has been completed.
Permitted types of vehicles
A domestic vehicle crossing may only be used by a private light goods or similar vehicle. It may not be used by heavy goods vehicles or mechanical equipment. If a delivery, such as a skip, is made into the property, and in doing so the delivery damages the crossing, any repairs will be the responsibility of the occupier.
Size of the crossing
The width of a standard crossing is 2.44 metres at the back of the public footway. This increases to about 4.58 metres at the kerbline. Crossings up to twice that width or two separate crossings may be built where there is sufficient space to leave a continuous length of two metres of full face kerb at the kerbline. A crossing, which covers the full frontage, may not be permitted.
Where the occupiers of two adjoining properties share a driveway, and wish to build a double width crossing to serve the two sites, one occupier should act on behalf of both parties.
Two crossings at the same property
Where a request is made for two crossings to serve the property and the space available means that the area between them is at or close to the minimum limits, i.e. two metres in width, a decision will have to be made as to the shape of the crossing. Where there is an existing crossing it may mean that this also will have to be modified.
Parking within your property
Your application will not be approved unless you are able to provide a suitable parking area within your property, this must be at least 4.8 metres long, measured from the front of your house to the boundary of your property and 2.44 metres wide. There must be enough space around this area for pedestrian access.
There may be instances where the above criteria are not met. In such cases approval may be given, subject to a site inspection by a Highway Inspector. The Highway Inspector's decision as to whether the application will be approved or refused is final.
No part of a vehicle parked within your property may project on to or over the highway. The crossing may not be used as a parking area and no part of it is exempted for the purpose of footway parking. Any gates must open into your property and not across the footway.
Where you are intending to use gravel or a similar loose material for your hardstanding, you should consider the problem of some being carried on to the highway by the movement of the vehicle. This is especially true where the surface comes up to the boundary. Where material of this type is used, concrete or blacktop must be laid in a 500mm strip from the boundary to the start of the gravelled area. This will help to reduce any problem. If the material is carried onto the highway it will be the responsibility of the occupier to remove it.
The parking area within your property must be built so that water does not drain from it across the footway. Suitable drainage must be provided within the boundaries of your property.
The standard finish to crossings is either blacktop or concrete. This will be decided by the Transportation, Design and Planning Department when you apply for a crossing.
If you are proposing a non-standard finish such as block paving, you must provide details with your application. Excessively bright colours or mixed finishers will not be permitted. The decision on such matters will be made by the Council. If at a later date after acceptance of the crossing by the Council, reinstatement work or changes in the road layout take place, they may not be able to match the finish, colour or shape of the blocks, or other non standard material.
Where applicants have removed more of the wall or fence running along the boundary, than is required by the size of the crossing, it should be understood that an item of street furniture, for example a lamp post, telegraph pole or traffic sign, may be erected at any time in the footway outside the area of a crossing, even though this may obstruct an area where there is no wall or similar feature.
Obstacles to construction
If the proposed position of the access is obstructed by a road sign, lamp post, or tree, etc. the location should be altered to avoid the obstacle. If this is not feasible, a decision will have to be made by the relevant section as to whether the item should be removed or relocated.
If a statutory authority is required to carry out work by relocating a fire hydrant, telegraph pole etc. any charges for such work will be the responsibility of the applicant, who will be required to produce written proof of approval by the authority to the Transportation, Design and Planning Department before a crossing can be built.
If an applicant wishes the crossing to be placed in a location other than that recommended by the Transportation, Design and Planning Department and this requires the relocation of a lamp post or similar item, which would not otherwise be necessary, he/she will be required to pay the full cost of relocation.
Alterations to your vehicle crossover
The Council may need to alter the layout of your vehicle crossover at any time, due to modifications in the footway or verge. Every effort will be made to maintain access to your property and the occupier of premises so affected will be given adequate notice of such works.
Any application for the construction of a domestic 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.
Statutory Undertakers Equipment
In most cases it is likely that Statutory Undertakers equipment (such as gas, electric, cable, telephone, water) will be present within the footway. You and your contractor will be entirely responsible for locating and identifying all such equipment and ensure that it is protected from damage during the work. It is important that you make you contractor aware of this. Damage to any, but particularly gas or electricity mains can be very dangerous. Repairs to Statutory Undertakers equipment is very costly and would be your or your contractor’s responsibility.
Gates across vehicle entrance
Gates fitted across the vehicle entrance to your property may in no circumstances open outwards across the footpath or carriageway. (Highways Act 1980 - Section 153)
What happens next?
You send your completed application form to the Transportation, Design and Planning Department at the address shown on the application. They will check the viability of the proposal and respond. If there is a problem with the proposal then they will contact you to discuss the matter.