- You’ve Contacted Your Local Council About Paying To Fix Your Curbs
- The developer was issued guidance by the local council to curb
- No work has been done and the curb needs to be demolished
I’ve bought a property that has a driveway with no bar. It’s uncomfortable every time I drive it. When I contacted my local council to fix it, it said there was no compulsion to curb the developer.
The council said I would have to apply for a license to demolish it. That license costs £222.35.
I also have to pay for the work I do. Can I do something about it and why are developers allowed to build houses without curbs? metric ton
Parking space is at a premium and many people want a drive, but you also need a dropped curb
MailOnline property expert Myra Butterworth answers: Parking spaces are becoming highly desirable in many areas, as on-street parking restrictions increase.
Your developer was issued guidance by the local council to lift the ban. However, in this case the local council has confirmed that there is nothing in planning consent or elsewhere that requires the developer to be restrained.
Unfortunately, you have no claim against the original developer or the person from whom you purchased the property. And so now you have to apply to your local council to have the ban lifted.
Research conducted by Direct Line found that during the past three years there has been an increase in the number of restrictions requests received by local councils amid increasing demand for parking spaces.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, councils received an estimated 14,500 planning requests for dropped restrictions, which increased to 14,700 between April 2020 and March 2021.
Stephen Gould, a retired judge and author, explained: Your local council is right. In fact, sometimes it is even necessary to obtain planning permission for the construction of dropped curbs: for example, if the curb will be on a classified road or in a conservation area.
The fact that neighboring properties in the past have been given up for a dropped curb is no guarantee that you’ll be as lucky because of changes in engineering standards and improvements in design. You may also be denied access to your property at a turn or at a road junction or close to a traffic light.
The property was sold as if there was no fallen curb
You have no claim against the original developer or the person from whom you have purchased the property.
The property was sold to you as it is: a driveway and no dropped curbs that would have been obvious, so you got what you bargained for.
You may have thought or thought that driving from property on the sidewalk can be an uncomfortable exercise. If your seller had agreed to bear the cost of building the curb and the associated expenses, the situation would have been different.
But assuming you have purchased the property with the help of mortgage, the property would have been appraised by an appraiser or surveyed by the mortgage lender and you would have conducted your own personal survey.
If the inspection or survey report didn’t include a perfectly clear process and expense for a dropped curb, you would have an debatable — though not strong — claim against the report’s author or their employer.
After all, section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 makes it an offense to drive on a sidewalk to exit your property when the local authority forbids you from doing so given the absence of a dropped curb and therefore would have been a significant factor. .
You will have up to six years from the report to begin what may be a county court ‘small claim’. You would be well advised to send a statement of claim to the reporter with a threat of action if someone does not pay. If the claim is dismissed by them, assess whether to pursue the case while you have the benefit of knowing why they claim they are not liable to you.
Even making small claims carries risks. If you lose you will not get the court fee back and you may have to pay the winner’s expenses for travel and loss of earnings while on court.
- Stephen Gould, author of ‘The Return of Breaking Law’, published by Bath Publishing