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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we are currently in the process of trying to turn our front garden into a driveway and thus get a dropped kerb. My district & county council require a LDC (lawful development certificate) before you even start an application with them.
There’s not much info online for how this really works, we’ve started an application on planningportal website as advised when we phoned the district council.
Has anyone experience with this? It’s a bit confusing!
So far we’ve obtained a copy of our land registry and ‘dropped kerb request plan’ which outlines our property and the land/buildings around it.
Just hoping someone who’s done this before can help?
Thanks
 

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I had this done about twenty years ago so things might have changed. Once I found the right department in the Council, they handled everything from the planning application to the construction. They event wrote to me a couple of years later saying the shouldn’t have charged VAT and enclosing a refund.

Sounds like you have used the right process to get an LDC so I assume the department that wants that is the highways department handling actually dropping the kerb.
 

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Sorry Cannot help you with this,
my only dealings with doing similar was about 18 Months ago I had to apply to my local council to extend my original Tiny dropped kerb (done over 30 years ago) to the maximum width possible (only extending by 2.5m) because with cars parked opposite and left and right I couldn't get my car on/off the drive (modern cars keep getting larger and my road is not very wide), and at the same time I also applied for Disabled "H" Bar markings to be done across the front of the driveway (Which was an extra cost on top of the drop kerb).

My local council required plans to be drawn up professionally not on the back of an envelope type thing and also wanted £150 non refundable admin fee just to look at the plans. Luckily not far from me was an architect who also as a sideline did dropped kerb/extension applications as well and was quite reasonable. He came round, laser scanned the existing drive/front of house which gave precise measurements, got all the land registry paperwork and drew up all the plans and submitted them.

6 weeks later the council decided to look at them and immediately rejected the planning application with no reason why (all the specs were WITHIN the stipulated dimensions the council demanded for the driveway). Again the architect came up trumps and got my local councillor involved who agreed that there was no reason to not approve the plans which were re-submitted and approved.

still took over 6 months to get the job done and the cost for extending the drive by the council contractors was extortionate.

Getting the architect involved was the best decision I made for getting this done
 

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The thing that annoys me about the way councils behave with regard to planning decisions is that they very often ignore the fundamental tenet baked in to planning law. That states that planning consent MUST be granted unless there is a valid reason for refusal. Almost universally councils reverse this, yet they rarely if ever, get picked up on it, and instead applicants are forced to do battle with them, at their expense.

I had the advantage of a thick planning file that detailed previous applications and refusals (there were a few) when we bought this plot of land. I read up on planning law, and was surprised to find that it states that consent MUST be granted unless there are valid grounds for refusal. Armed with this knowledge, I wrote a lengthy Design and Access Statement, submitted with the application, that went through every single bit of planning policy and guidance, showing that my design complied with every aspect. The end result was that there was no room for refusal, as I'd closed off any loophole the council could have tried to use. If the council stuck to the letter and intent of the law, though, there would be no need to go to all this hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for replies. Its seemingly quite uncommon for councils to ask for an LDC so very irritating that mine enforces it, its yet another expense which feels meaningless, its not actually asking for planning permission, its asking if planning permission is required, that'll be £160 please. Once we are told no planning permission isn't required it's £320 to the county concil to come and assess the dropped kerb, if they answer no you get £160 back so even if the answer ends up being no we're out £320, delightful.
Going to phone them again because there is very little advice or guidance in place they just seem to expect you to know
 

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Councils have been pulling every trick in the book to make more revenue, and planning is a thing that they've long seen as a way to fleece people. Here, to get to talk to a planning officer for five minutes on the phone for pre-application advice costs £140 now (it used to cost £80 when we were seeking consent). The stupid thing is that it encourages people to not bother calling to see if something might be OK or not, as it's better value to just submit an application, pay that fee, and then have as many calls as you like included in that, and a free second application if the first is refused.
 
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