Vehicle crossings and dropped kerbs

Frequently asked questions

What is a Vehicle Crossing?
A vehicle crossing is where the footway is strengthened and the kerb is lowered to enable a vehicle to safely access a property using the footway.

Do I need Planning permission?
You will need to apply for planning permission separately if the property is:

  • a flat, maisonette or any other building that is not a single-family dwelling
  • on a classified road
  • listed building
  • located in a conservation area
  • a public building or business property.

View further information about planning permission

View a list of Brent’s classified roads 

Once you have planning permission please apply for a vehicle crossing in the normal way using the application form. You will need to send us a complete copy of the planning permission with your application.

Do I need to carry out works on my forecourt prior to making my application?
No, not until your application has been approved and a cost estimate for the building of the dropped crossing has been sent to you by the Highways and Infrastructure Service. In cases where planning permission is required and has been obtained, this will still apply.

What documents will I need to look at before I apply for a crossover?

Do I have to pay for this service, if so how much?
Yes, firstly, there is a non-refundable application fee of £70 for assessing and responding to your application. If your application is approved, you will be sent an estimate for the full cost of building a crossover. This will need to be paid in full before we programme the work with our contractor.

What is the average cost of a vehicle crossing?
We usually estimate that crossovers cost approximately £165 per square metre, but there will be extra costs if new need to remove or relocate street furniture, lamp columns, parking bays, trees etc.

Once I’ve filled in the application form and paid the fee, when will a decision be made?
A decision will be provided in writing within 21 days. We aim to provide an earlier written response (usually within 7 days) if we can’t process your application because we need additional information.

Can I choose the materials of the vehicle crossing?
The construction materials are chosen by the Engineer, taking into account the pavement materials used in the street and other engineering factors such as the type and weight of vehicles the crossing may be subjected to.

What is the minimum and maximum size of a crossing?
There is a minimum crossover width of 2.4 metres and an absolute maximum width of 4.2 metres. However, the crossover width can be no more than 50% of the width of the frontage, so if your property width is 6 metres the maximum dropped kerb allowed would be 3 metres.

Can I extend my existing vehicle crossing?
You may be able to extend the length of the lowered kerb to a total of 50% of the width of the frontage, including the width of the existing vehicle crossing. Please refer to Question 9.

What is the minimum depth of front garden to gain approval for a vehicle crossing?
You will need to have a minimum hardstanding depth of 4.8 metres, which should be at right angles to the highway This is to prevent vehicles from overhanging into the highway. It should not interfere with accesses (e.g. doors) to the property. If the depth of front garden is between 3.8 m and 4.8 m, you would have to enter into a legal agreement with the council that your vehicle would not overhang on to the highway ( i.e. pavement and / road) Any legal fees you incur in engaging a solicitor for this would be at your own expense

The absolute minimum depth of front garden you would need is 3.8m.

Can I apply for a second vehicle crossing?
If the property width is over 12 metres and has a forecourt depth of 6 metres, a second vehicle crossing will be considered.

I have a parking bay outside my house; can I still have a crossing?
Yes, but if the vehicle crossing affects the loss of more than one parking space the application may be refused. There is also a fee to remove parking bays, which will be included within the cost estimate.

There is a lamp column outside my house where I want to locate a vehicle crossing. Will that be a problem?
If a lamp column interferes with a proposed crossing, we will consider moving it, subject to being able to keep the correct amount of light and the correct column spacing. The cost of this will also be included in the estimate.

Will a tree in the street outside my house affect my application?
If there is a tree within the area of the proposed vehicle crossing, your application will be referred to our Tree Officer to establish whether the tree can be removed. This option is only available if the tree is dead, diseased or dangerous. If it can be removed, two new saplings will need to be planted somewhere else in the borough at the applicant’s expense. Generally, a crossing should have a minimum clearance of 4 times the tree trunk circumference or a one metre clearance, whichever is greater, to allow safe construction without affecting the health and stability of the tree.

If a tree is near to where you are proposing a vehicle crossing, a trial excavation maybe required, at your expense.

My property is owned by the Council / Housing Association / a Private Landlord, do I need permission from them?
Yes. Approval in writing from the relevant housing authority (Council, or Housing Association) will be required prior to gaining permission to change the front garden to appropriate soft landscaping/hardstanding facilities. On receipt of this permission you will need to send us a certified copy of the consent.

You will need to get a similar permission from your landlord if you are not the owner of the property.

What work to I need to do in my front garden to accommodate my vehicle to comply with the policy?
The water run-off from the hardstanding must not flow onto the public highway (i.e. the pavement and / or road).

The runoff from the driveway has either to drain into a soakaway or the replacement driveway would need to be made of permeable (or porous) surfacing.

You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.

If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not provide for the water to run to a permeable area

The forecourt must have 50% soft landscaping , this can be reduced to 30% for narrower frontages less than 8.4m wide (see Guidance Notes).

A wall, fence, hedge or permanent landscaping will be needed on the frontage either side of the crossing, to within 600mm from the edge of the crossover (including the crossover taper).

View further information about paving your front garden.

Why do we also need soft landscaping before we can get approval for a crossover?
We will require 30-50% of the front area of the property (depending on size of frontage) to have ‘soft’ landscaping to allow for natural drainage. This is to try and lessen the possibility of flooding caused by drainage pipes being overwhelmed during heavy storms. Soft landscaping complies with the Councils Planning Policy.

Why do we need soft landscaping when other houses in our street with crossovers don’t have it?
This need for soft landscaping is a policy change that was brought in by the Council in 2008. It would not be fair or practical to try and apply it to houses with crossovers built before then.

Once a crossover is approved and payment has been made, how long will it take for the crossover to be constructed?
The crossover construction is usually carried out within 6 weeks of the Council receiving payment.