Block Paving

If you’re a homeowner in Northumberland and have ever struggled to get your car onto your property or are tired of inconsiderate parking blocking your driveway, a dropped kerb could be your solution.

But what exactly is a dropped kerb? What do you need to know before installing one? This guide will walk you through everything you need about dropped kerbs.

What Is a Dropped Kerb?

A dropped kerb is a vehicle crossing point where the kerb has been lowered to allow vehicles to safely cross the pavement from the road to a driveway. It provides convenient access to your property and helps prevent others from parking in front of your driveway, ensuring you can always come and go as you please.

Why Might You Need a Dropped Kerb

A dropped kerb offers homeowners in Northumberland many benefits, making it a valuable addition to any property. Firstly, perhaps most practically, it provides easier access to your driveway. This is especially beneficial for those with low-suspension vehicles or mobility issues, as it eliminates the need to navigate a raised kerb. No more scraping your bumper or struggling to manoeuvre a wheelchair or pushchair.

Another compelling reason to consider a dropped kerb is its potential to increase property value. A dropped kerb enhances your home’s functionality and adds to its kerb appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers. This improvement can translate into a higher selling price should you decide to sell your property.

Finally, a dropped kerb serves as a powerful deterrent to inconsiderate parking. By clearly marking your driveway as a designated parking space, you’re less likely to find your access blocked by others. This added peace of mind means you can always come and go as you please without the frustration of asking someone to move their vehicle.

Related Article: More Than Just Looks: The Importance of Drainage and Drop Kerbs in Landscaping

Regulations in Northumberland

Before you rush to have a dropped kerb installed, it’s crucial to understand the regulations in Northumberland. Dropped kerbs are considered a “vehicle crossing,” and you’ll need permission from Northumberland County Council to have one installed. 

The council has specific guidelines regarding the design, construction, and location of dropped kerbs, which must be adhered to for safety and accessibility reasons.

Here’s a quick overview of the dropped kerb regulations in Northumberland.

Planning Permission

In almost all cases, you’ll need planning permission from Northumberland County Council before installing a dropped kerb. This isn’t just red tape; ensuring your vehicle crossing meets stringent safety standards and doesn’t impede pedestrians or disrupt traffic flow is crucial. The council’s assessment will consider the visibility of the crossing, the width of the pavement, and the potential impact on traffic.

Construction Standards

The council has set specific requirements regarding the materials, dimensions, and construction methods for dropped kerbs. These standards are non-negotiable and are in place to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.

They cover aspects such as:

  • Materials: The type of materials allowed (e.g., concrete, block paving) and their quality to ensure durability and longevity.
  • Dimensions: The width, height, and gradient of the dropped kerb to ensure safe and easy access for vehicles while minimising the impact on pedestrians.
  • Construction Methods: The techniques used for excavation, laying the foundation, and constructing the kerb to ensure a stable and long-lasting crossing.
  • Location Restrictions: The council may have restrictions on where you can install a dropped kerb. These restrictions are typically in place to avoid creating hazards or obstructing essential infrastructure. 

Common restrictions include:

  • Proximity to Junctions: Dropped kerbs are usually not permitted too close to junctions, as they obstruct visibility for drivers and pedestrians.
  • Bus Stops and Street Lighting: Installing a dropped kerb near a bus stop or street light can impede access and create safety risks.
  • Tree Roots and Underground Utilities: The council will assess the area for tree roots or underground utilities that could be damaged during construction.

It’s crucial to adhere to these regulations to ensure your dropped kerb is legal, safe and doesn’t create any issues for yourself or others. Working with an experienced contractor like M&C Paving Northeast can simplify the process, as we’re well-versed in Northumberland’s regulations and can easily guide you through the planning and installation process.

The Installation Process

Installing a dropped kerb is a multi-step process requiring professional expertise and strict regulations adherence. It’s not a DIY project to be taken lightly, as mistakes can be costly and even lead to safety hazards.

Application and Consultation

The first step is to contact a reputable contractor like M&C Paving Northeast. We’ll discuss your needs, assess your property, and advise you on the best location and design for your dropped kerb. We’ll then prepare and submit a detailed application for a vehicle crossing to Northumberland County Council on your behalf.

Council Assessment

The council will thoroughly review your application, considering the proposed location, design, and potential impact on pedestrians and traffic. They may also conduct a site visit to gather further information and assess the suitability of your property for a dropped kerb.

Approval and Planning

If your application meets all the necessary requirements, the council will grant approval for the installation. This usually involves issuing a formal permission notice that outlines any specific conditions or requirements that must be adhered to during construction.

Professional Installation

Once you have permission, M&C Paving Northeast will schedule the installation. Our experienced team will meticulously complete the work, ensuring strict adherence to council regulations and safety standards. 

We have proven techniques to create a durable and visually appealing dropped kerb that seamlessly integrates with your existing driveway and pavement.

Final Inspection

After installation, the council may conduct a final inspection to ensure that the work has been completed to their satisfaction and complies with all relevant regulations. This is a crucial step in the process, as it provides an official seal of approval for your new vehicle crossing.

Choosing a Reputable Contractor

When selecting a contractor for your dropped kerb installation, choosing a reputable company with experience in this type of work is important.

M&C Paving Northeast is a trusted local provider with a proven track record of delivering high-quality dropped kerbs that meet all council regulations. We handle the entire process, from obtaining planning permission to final installation, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

If you’re considering a dropped kerb for your Northumberland property, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our driveway contractors can guide you through the entire process, answer any questions you may have, and provide a free, no-obligation quote.