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Can I check if I can drop the kerb before I buy a property?

(12 Posts)
MaryPoppinsPenguins Mon 02-Jan-17 01:43:20

We're in the process of buying a house, but it doesn't have a driveway. Almost every other house on the street does and it has a large front garden that for everyone else is a driveway for 2-3 cars.

It's opposite a school, and parking is Crazy. I think without a drive it will be a nightmare so we'd look to rectify this straight away...

Except how do I know if we will be able to do this? Is it a commonly turned down thing?

SpotTheDuck Mon 02-Jan-17 02:19:27

You'd have to ask your council for permission, and their answer will depend on the layout of the road, pipes/cables beneath the pavement, and the location of any street furniture (i.e. Lampposts etc). The fact that your neighbours have drives won't really be relevant.

Some councils give permission to you to do the work, others (I think most) would require that their contractors do the work, at your expense.

You'll need to pay application fees, plus for the work itself. When we looked into this, the rough quote was a total if £4K.

The only way to get a definitive answer is to apply for the permission now (which you can do even without owning the land), but an answer will take a couple of months, minimum. You can also speak to the council planning department to ask informally what their answer is likely to be, and what the costs and timescale would be, but you can't actually rely on their answer.

I used to work in property law, and we always told clients to sort out a dropped kerb before putting their house on the market, as otherwise it does put off a lot of buyers. If you decide you want a definitive permission, you could reasonably ask seller to deal with this.

MrCreosote Mon 02-Jan-17 02:23:18

Spottheduck is spot on.

iogo Mon 02-Jan-17 02:25:48

We did this when we lived in our first house. Cost about £400 not £4000.

Spartak Mon 02-Jan-17 02:31:59

Who you need to ask for permission will depend on the local authority arrangements where you are.

Where I live you would need permission from the county council Highways Department to do works to the highway i.e. Drop the kerbstones on the edge of the pavement.

If the road has a school on it, it is very likely to be classified and therefore you will also need planning permission - you would able to the district or borough council for that.

If you live in a unitary authority such as one of the London boroughs or a city council then you would apply to them for both, although it is to different departments.

In either case you need both permissions in place before going ahead. For planning permission you will need a site location plan and scale drawings of what you intend to do. It wouldn't be too hard to do this yourself with a scale ruler. The fee for planning permission is around £180 where I work. You would be likely to have a decision on the planning permission aspect in around 8 weeks. Most council's will give you informal pre application advice as to whether you would be likely to get planning permission, some charge for this service, I think we charge about £80 or so.

MirabelleTree Mon 02-Jan-17 08:54:42

We did this fairly recently. In our case we needed planning permission and the consent from Highways so costs were £400 architect drawings, £175 planning, £265 highways licence and £1080 for the actual drop kerb.

SpotTheDuck Mon 02-Jan-17 10:01:36

Costs will obviously depend on the complexity of the works involved (I think in our case some cables had to be moved?) and area of the country etc. We spoke to two specialists and they both told us to budget £4K for it, so it can be a significant amount.

Rshard Mon 02-Jan-17 10:10:38

A school on a road would not necessarily mean it being classified. Most residential roads are not, if it is classified it will have a number as well as a name - this could be A, B or C. Some roads also have a U - for unclassified.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Mon 02-Jan-17 14:45:01

How do you find out the road classification?

And can I contact the council and look into the possibility before the house is ours?

MaryPoppinsPenguins Mon 02-Jan-17 14:45:17

Thanks everyone for your replies by the way!

Acorncat Mon 02-Jan-17 15:50:49

£4K for just putting in the dropped curb!? We'd love to get a drive put in but I'd got it in my head it was only a couple of hundred pounds! Plus the £4-5k for the drive itself of course. May need to rethink this.

Seeline Mon 02-Jan-17 15:55:50

Check the Council website for planning applications. If nearly all the other houses have dropped kerbs, they will have applied for planning permission if on a classified road. It has been the case for many years, so there will be some record.
Even looking on Google, or a local street map may tell you if it's an A or a B road if the web site doesn't help.

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