Regulations governing driveways

If you want to install a driveway, the application process depends on the type of house you live in. All applications must include a suitable plan clearly showing the location of the proposed driveway and the dimensions along with the construction details.

Council houses

If you live in a Council house and have been granted approval for a footway crossing, you also need to get approval from the Sales and Consents Unit to make the internal modifications to form a driveway.

Please contact:

Sales and Consents Unit
Early Intervention and Community Empowerment
Aberdeen City Council
Lower Ground West
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB

01224 522136 or 01224 543645.

Housing association houses

If you live in a housing association house, you will need to get consent from the housing association before you apply. 

Privately owned houses

If you own your house, you don't need any additional consent in order to apply. 

Planning permission

Your application will require planning permission if:

  • The property is a flat
  • The construction work involves over 0.5 metres depth of excavation or infill.
  • The verge/footway has grass over 2.5 metres wide.
  • The driveway accesses on to a classified route (e.g. an 'A' class, 'B' class road etc).
  • The property is a listed building or is situated in a conservation area.

There is a standard charge for submitting a planning application so we advise making sure that your application complies with the policy on footway crossings before you submit it. 

All applications must satisfy the following standard conditions or the application may be rejected:

Road safety

  • The footway crossing/driveway should not be situated within 15 metres of a road junction. Officer discretion may be applied to quiet roads where road safety is not compromised by a reduction in this distance.
  • The application will be refused if the crossing would not meet adequate visibility. Greater visibility may be required on busier roads. Pedestrian visibility is very important on popular pedestrian routes, especially near schools.
  • The driveway must be internally drained with no surface water discharging on to the public road. Please note that due to previous difficulties we have experienced with porous lock block, this will not be considered to be internally drained.
  • Generally only one footway crossing per property is allowed.
  • The crossing may not be used as a parking area and no part of it is exempted for the purpose of footway crossing.
  • Loose material (e.g. stone chippings) must not be used to surface any of the first 2 metres length adjacent to the footway.
  • The gradient should not generally exceed 1:20 (in certain circumstances this may be relaxed to 1:15). However alternative
    surface texture treatments should be considered for such steeper gradients.
  • A maximum dropped kerb length of 10 metres will be permitted across neighbouring properties. The kerb must return to full height for a distance of 2 metres prior to the next permitted driveway.

Size of parking area

  • Generally a minimum parking area measuring 3 metres by 5 metres will ensure that most cars currently on the market will not overhang the footway, which is an offence.
  • The length of the driveway must be must be a minimum of 5 metres or 6 metres if parking area is in front of a garage or door contained within the property. If a driveway is longer than 7 metres then it must be at least 10 metres long to prevent two vehicles parking with the second car overhanging the footway.
  • The driveway should be installed at a right angle to the public road.
  • If the access to the driveway if off an 'A' or 'B' class road, District and Local Distributor Road Network then vehicles must be able to enter and exit in a forward gear. However, the above condition may be relaxed on a Local Distributor Road.

Communal car parking

A driveway will not generally be allowed access from a parking lay-by if that lay-by is regularly used by parked vehicles, and locally available parking would be reduced detrimentally by creating a driveway access.

On-street parking bays

Within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ), the loss of on-street parking will need to be taken into account when assessing crossover requests. A vehicular crossing may, therefore, be refused in areas where there is high demand for on-street parking.

Disabled bays

  • Where an application for a footway crossover is received and a disabled parking bay is already marked out on the public road adjacent to the proposed crossover, this bay, and any associated signposts, will have to be relocated.
  • If the bay is for the use of the applicant or member of the household then the bay will be removed.
  • The cost for removing and relocating the disabled parking bay will have to be met by the applicant.

Street furniture

We can arrange for the relocation of street furniture to allow the construction of a footway crossing if a suitable alternative location can be found and you agree to meet the cost of  moving the equipment.

Trees and landscaping

  • We are committed to preserving street trees. The existence of an established mature tree is a consideration for refusing permission to construct a footway crossing.
  • In the event that an application for a footway crossing is granted which requires the removal or replacement of a tree, such removal or replacement will be undertaken at the expense of the applicant(s).

Existing driveways/footway crossings 

Existing footway crossings which do not meet the current criteria will have been constructed before these new criteria were adopted and do not set a precedent when assessing new applications.

Application process

  • If your application is approved, we will write to you advising the driveway conditions and to arrange a detailed estimate for the footway crossing work be sent to you.
  • Please note that the process itself can take up to 10-12 weeks. However, applications where trees, lamp columns, etc. are affected may take longer to process.
  • If your proposal does not meet our criteria, we will let you know the reasons and, where possible, suggest an alternative.
  • After your application has been approved, you must complete any necessary works to create the parking area, e.g. removing any boundary wall or fence and construction of hard-standing. Your vehicular crossover will not be built until these works have been completed.

Footway crossing construction

  • All approved driveways with access across a footway should have a footway crossing constructed by Aberdeen City Council at the expense of the applicant.
  • Only contractors approved by the council can undertake works on the public road/footpath. For vehicular crossovers, all work on the public footpath will be done by our appointed contractor. The contractor has been appointed after competitive tendering each year by the council, with the aim of providing good value for money.
  • If a driveway is used without a footway crossing and the owner refuses to agree to pay the costs for a crossing then the Council will be at liberty to take appropriate measures to stop access to the driveway and recover the costs for doing so from the owner.
  • Before the construction of the footway crossing is undertaken the applicant must make full payment of the cost of the footway crossing works.
  • The normal width of a footway crossing is 3 dropped kerbs (2.7 metres) but this may be increased to an absolute maximum of 5 dropped kerbs (4.5 metres) per property.
  • In order to minimise disruption to pedestrians, a maximum of 10 metres of consecutive dropped kerbs to be permitted over the frontage of adjacent properties. A 2 metres minimum length of raised kerb will be required before the next permitted driveway.

Additional conditions for council tenants include:

  • The driveway must be constructed entirely on ground of which the applicant is the sole tenant.
  • The applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the Chief Officer Early Intervention and Community Empowerment, that at the date of the application the applicant owns or otherwise lawfully possesses a private car or such other vehicle approved by the Council to be parked on the proposed driveway.
  • The applicant must include in the application a site plan of the garden ground attached to the applicant's house or block of terraced or flatted houses of which the applicant's house forms part, as the case may be, and illustrating the proposed driveway in relation to the building and the street or rear access lane, as the case may be.
  • The tenant shall maintain the driveway in a proper state of repair and in a clean and tidy condition and shall, within seven days of being called upon by the council to do so, remedy any defects therein or any deterioration in its condition.
  • An approved driveway may only be used as a parking space for a private car or other approved vehicle belonging to or lawfully possessed by the applicant or member of the household. It must not be used for any other purpose.
  • Where an approved driveway has been constructed the applicant shall not park or permit parking of any vehicle elsewhere within the garden ground other than on the approved driveway.
  • The tenant shall have no right of property in an approved driveway and in the event of the tenant's removal from the house for whatever reason the tenant shall have no claim for compensation for the expense incurred in the construction and maintenance of the driveway or in the construction of the footway crossing.
  • The Statutory Undertakers shall have right of access at all times to any service affected by the existence of the driveway.
  • In the event of a tenant knowingly or willfully contravening any of the regulations governing the use and maintenance of an approved driveway, the Council shall be at liberty, after seven days' written notice of their intention to do so, to uplift and remove the driveway and footway crossing and to recover the cost of so doing from the tenant.
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