Do I need planning permission to drop kerb outside my house?

Property Clinic: factors such as on-street parking and drainage influence kerb change

Kerbs: making adaptations for cars or other reasons  may require planning permission for a range of civic reasons.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Kerbs: making adaptations for cars or other reasons may require planning permission for a range of civic reasons. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

I am looking to extend the dish on the footpath in front of my house so that I can park two cars in the driveway. The problem I have is the council is saying I will have to apply for planning permission to extend the opening of my drive.

I have yet to find evidence the wall to the front of my house was there when the house was built, as the majority of the front walls on my road are all different.

Also there were no boundary walls built between the houses either at the time of build but these were erected later by the previous owners and neighbours.

I had a look at the land registry site and they cannot definitively say what was in place and I also contacted the developer who said they could not find the original plans.

Is there any way I can find out if there was a wall built to the front of my garden when the house was built?

Your primary concern appears to relate to the requirement to have to apply for planning permission to: a. widen your exit to the public road; and b. extend the dished/lower portion of the footpath to facilitate vehicular access from the road to the widened driveway.

The length of time the wall is in position, or its existence or otherwise when the house was built, is not relevant to the requirement for planning permission.

Planning permission is required for the following reasons:

(i) the proposal to increase the width of your exit to the public road. All such changes to the means by which traffic accesses or exits the public road require planning permission.

(ii) an increase in the width of your driveway causes a corresponding reduction in the space available for on-street car parking. On-street car parking is a significant consideration in the design of residential developments.

(iii) the dishing or lowering of the public footpath to correspond with the wider driveway requires the excavation and replacement of a portion of the public road which is in the charge of the local authority.

Surface water

The work required to widen your driveway and to make the corresponding alteration to your wall may be carried out by your own contractor. However, any work on the public footpath must be carried out by the local authority or, in a number of Local Authority areas, by your contractor subject to conditions determined by the Local Authority including inspection and approval by its area engineer. Public footpaths must be constructed to a specified standard and gradients must facilitate surface water drainage.

You may feel that the changes you propose are relatively minor and should not require planning permission. However, if several householders in a residential area carried out similar alterations to their driveways and footpaths the overall impact would be significant. It is essential that such development is subject to planning approval.

In relation to your wall, it will be difficult to get answers if the developer cannot provide them. The Local Authority planning department archive may retain copies of the original plans submitted with the planning application but, as indicated, the existence or otherwise of the wall when the house was built will not change the requirement for planning permission.

Patrick Shine is a chartered geomatics surveyor, a chartered civil engineer and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie