If you want to undertake driveway works within the public road reserve, Council requires certain standards for driveway construction or modification.

Do I need to apply to construct my driveway across the Council footway or verge?

YES, an application is required to allow you passage across Council's footway or verge area. A DA or CDC approval does NOT cover the driveway approval over the Council footway/verge area.

Failure to obtain approval may result in an issue of non-compliance and in some cases, the work may need to be removed and reconstructed at the owner’s cost. 

Do I need approval to construct my driveway?

The NSW Roads Act 1993 sec 138 requires Council consent be obtained for works within the road reserve, this is to ensure it complies with Australian and Council standards. Council must ensure new driveways and driveway alterations are safe for both vehicles and pedestrians, will not conflict with existing infrastructure such as signs, poles, and street trees, adequately manage stormwater, and does not create any hazard on the Council footway/ verge area.

How do I obtain approval?

A formal application must be made to Council via a Minor Public Works (MPW). You will need to register as a user or sign in before you can start the application process. Once you are in the MPW application form select 'Application for access to property', then fill out the drop boxes as required. If you are connecting a stormwater pipe or a utility in the Council verge or road you will need to fill out the 'Application for Road Opening Permit' section as well.

Once you have filled out the details you will be required to pay the associated fee.

Each driveway will require a separate application, replacement of the driveway will also require an application and payment.
Only where a driveway is to be repaired, painted, or widened and you have an existing approval should you select 'Restoration'  on the payment screen.

Once the application is submitted and relevant fees paid, Council will undertake an assessment of the site. A written approval will then be issued with Councils conditions, and specifications, you can then obtain quotes from a contractor to undertake the work.

 Works cannot commence without an approval.

How long does it take to obtain Council approval?

A straightforward application will usually be processed within 10 to 15 working days.

Am I required/or I wish to install a footpath together with a driveway?

If a footpath is required as part of the Development Approval - Notice of Determination you will need to submit a Public Works Certificate (PWC).

The driveway plan can be included with the PWC this will negate the need for a MPW application.

If the footpath is from the boundary to the road and is not associated with a DA, application can be made via a Minor public works.

The application is treated the same as a driveway. 

My development approval already has driveway conditions, do I still need a driveway permit?

YES, you must still obtain a permit from Council for each driveway before driveway construction can commence. The DA, CDC or PWC approval does not cover the driveway over Council footway or verge area.

Who is responsible for the driveway?

Property owners are responsible for the cost and standard of construction and maintenance of driveways, including the area from the property boundary to the road and the kerb crossing.

It is also the property owner's responsibility to ensure that any work done on a driveway crossover complies with Council standards, and any contractor used is aware of the requirements. Council requires that the contractor be adequately insured and appropriately licensed to undertake the proposed works.

It is the property owner's responsibility to contact Before You Dig to check for any utilities and services, such as water, gas or electrical, that may be affected by your excavations.

Council will not accept liability for injury or property damage caused by work carried out privately on your driveway crossover, or for accidents caused by badly constructed or unauthorised driveways. Damage caused by Council or other public authorities undertaking works will be reinstated by the authority that has caused the damage.

What if the road is not owned by Council?

If the access road to your property is a Crown Road, property owners must first obtain and submit written approval from the appropriate State Government authority. Council will not approve access to a property via a public reserve.

In some instances, Council will need to refer applications to other authorities such as Transport for NSW. The approval of TfNSW is required if the driveway or works is adjacent to the Pacific Highway or any State-owned roads. Please view road classifications at Road Network Classifications (

How many driveways can I have?

Residential developments are generally allowed only one driveway access. An additional crossing may be considered if the property:

  • Has access to two or more street frontages.
  • Has a minimum seven metres of separation between driveways on the same block.
  • Have at least five metres clear behind the building line three metres from the side boundary, or
  • Have 10 metres clear behind the front boundary.

The second driveway should not conflict with a Council /utility asset or a mature tree.

Note: Restrictions can be relaxed for properties with large street frontages greater than 25 metres or rural properties. 


How wide can my driveway be?

Residential: Maximum width four meters at kerb (excluding 500mm wings) and five metres at the boundary.

Commercial: Usually six metres at the kerb but can be increased at Council’s discretion.

The minimum width of any driveway is three metres (AS2890) and must be 500mm off the prolongation of the boundary across the Council verge.

Certain suburbs have restrictions on the width of driveways, please consult the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan to see if your property is affected.

What grades can my driveway be?

Council will issue the approval that will include reference to a sketch which will give grades and distances. This will include provision for a footpath or proposed footpath at least 1.5 metres wide at 2.5% in the driveway.

Changes in gradients exceeding 12.5% for a crest or 15% for a dip will require the introduction of a two metre transitions as per Australian Standard AS/NZS 2890.1-2004). The maximum grade is 20%, anything steeper will need additional Council approval.

Where can I locate my driveway?

Driveways should be at a 90-degree angle to the kerb and not extend past the prolongation of the property boundary. The start of the wings of the layback can be located on the prolongation of the boundary line, (this will ensure that the driveway is at least 500mm offset from the prolongation of the side boundary.

Driveways should be at least six metres from corner (tangent point). 

What is a layback, an insitu layback or a pipe crossing?

A layback is he 'flattened' part of the kerb where the driveway crosses the gutter. EGSD 103-1.

An insitu layback is a crossing used where there is no kerb and channel. EGSD 103-2

A pipe crossing is a min 375mm diameter RCP pipe, and headwalls. This is used where there is a table drain that is too steep for an insitu layback. EGSD 203

I have a rolltop kerb, can this be converted to a standard layback?

A rolltop kerb can be converted to a standard layback kerb. EGSD 103-1

What if I have a tree in the footprint of the driveway or within two metres of the driveway?

Note: This refers to trees on the Council strip only, not within the property.

If there is a street tree with a stem/trunk caliper (diameter) less than 240mm at a height of 1.4 metres in the footprint of the driveway or within two metres of the approved driveway, you are required to remove and replace the tree to a minimum of three metres from the driveway.

If a street tree with a stem/trunk caliper (diameter) less than 240mm, at a height of 1.4 metres, is within 2-3 metres of the driveway, Council recommends either

  1. remove and replace the tree to a minimum three metres from the driveway, or
  2. leave the tree and install a 300mm thickened edge beam.

The tree must be planted within the Council verge fronting your property.

For large trees (greater than 240mm in diameter at a height of 1.4 m) in the footprint of the driveway or within two metres will be referred through to Councils Natural Areas for consideration. The driveway may need to be relocated.

For more information concerning replacing a tree refer to Tree location conditions or contact Councils Natural Areas Officer on 02 4921 0333.

Council will not take responsibility for a cracked driveway.

What if my driveway crosses an existing footpath or cycleway?

Where the proposed driveway crosses an existing concrete footpath, the footpath must be saw-cut at the extremities of the driveway, removed, then reconstructed to the specified access driveway standards, with the grade and cross fall of the pre-existing footpath maintained. Dummy joint to be provided across the driveway to indicate footpath alignment.

Where your proposed driveway crosses an existing cycleway, the cycleway MUST remain, the driveway to be dowelled into the existing concrete.

Where no footway exists, the nature strip on each side of the driveway must be battered smoothly at a grade no steeper than one in four to maintain acceptable stands for pedestrians and allow future provision of concrete foot paving.

In certain areas the existing formed footpath is either too high or too low to comply with Councils driveway standard. In these cases, the footpath either side must be replaced to ensure smooth pedestrian access (grade not to exceed 12.5%) This may require several footpath panels to be removed. Full footpath slab replacement is required.

What if I have a Council stormwater pit in or near the driveway?

Residential driveways should start at least 500mm from the edge of Council’s stormwater drainage pits. ( i.e. the flat section of the driveway is at least one metre from the start of the drainage pit)

Where there is an existing kerb inlet pit within the proposed driveway alignment, Council’s Drainage Section will investigate the site to determine if a butterfly grate can be installed or a new pit is required, (if the pit is in a sag point, the driveway will need to be relocated).

A Public Works Certificate will then need to be submitted by the owner /developer to either convert the pit to a butterfly grate at no cost to Council or undertake construction of a new kerb inlet pit upstream designed by a qualified engineer at no cost to Council.

Location of the driveway over a stormwater pit should be avoided and only considered as a last resort, due to the cost for the owner to convert or relocate the pit. 

What if there is a power or light pole near the driveway?

Residential driveways shall be minimum 750mm clearance from the edge of driveway to any power pole or light pole. Where the excavation near a pole is required the service provider may need to be contacted. Please view Holding-Poles-Zone-Reference-Diagram.pdf (

Industrial and commercial driveways shall ideally be a minimum 1.5m clearance from the edge of driveway to any power pole or light pole.

What if I have a utility pit in the driveway?

Any damages to existing services and public utility assets due to the construction shall be restored at no cost to Council.

Written approval must be obtained and provided to Council from Service Authorities should any utility services be required to be relocated, modified, or remain in the driveway area.

Special dispensation may be made regarding driveway replacements in older established areas that may not meet the current minimum service clearance requirements.

Where possible all options, such as repositioning of driveway alignment, moving the service etc, shall be explored to meet the minimum clearance, requirements set out below.

Telstra/NBN/OPTUS/TPG Pits

Minimum 300mm clearance generally from the edge of any proposed driveway to any Telstra or NBN assets.

Telecommunication assets shall not be situated within the driveway or be less than 300mm clear of the driveway unless Telstra/NBN approval has been received and provided to Council prior to the initial inspection.

The Network Integrity Group should be contacted on 1800 810 443 or via their websitefor any relocations or modifications to Telstra/NBN assets.

Hunter Water

Hydrants and Stop Valves can be located in driveways however, they need to be raised to the surface and fitted with a trafficable lid (if not already).

Any surface fittings that are located in a proposed driveway that needs to be adjusted, the developer/constructor should contact Hunter Water on 1300 657 657 and organise staff to attend.

Please note, at least 28 days advanced notice is required.

My car scrapes on my driveway, what an I do?

Replacing the driveway to Councils standard is the best solution however installing 'gutter bars' or full-length rubber ramps may assist in reducing the angle of the driveway, thus improving access.

Council will not approve the installation of metal plates.

Please contact Council on 02 4921 0333 to enquire about gutter bars, or to discuss with the Asset Management Delivery Team.

Can I install a metal plate across the gutter?

No, Council will not approve the installation of metal plates.

Replacing the driveway to Councils standard is the best solution however installing “gutter bars” or full-length rubber ramps may assist in reducing the angle of the driveway, thus improving access.

Please contact Council on 02 4921 0333 to enquire about gutter bars, or to discuss with the Asset Management Delivery Team.

What if there is no kerb and channel?

Driveways in streets with no kerb and gutter will require either in-situ gutter crossing or pipe and headwalls as shown on the standard drawing in EGSD – 103 or EGSD – 203.

Pipe crossing must be minimum 600mm to the edge of the traffic travel lane and should have a guidepost erected on the approach side of the pipe and headwalls. Note: Minimum pipe size is 375mm Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP) or equivalent.

Council will inspect the site to determine what type of crossing is required. 

What material can I use for my driveway?

Certain suburbs (these include, but are not limited to, Catherine Hill Bay, Murrays Beach and areas of Wyee)  have restrictions on the construction of a driveway. Please consult the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan or see the 88B notification on the block to see if your property is affected.

Driveways must be constructed with a non-slip surface material.

If the footpath crossing or driveway is constructed in material other than plain concrete, Council will not be responsible for restoration or repairs in material other than in plain concrete.


A coloured stencilled or stamped pattern can be used, and the final surface must be sealed with a non-slip type substance. This surface is to be regularly renovated to ensure pedestrian safety and minimise litigation potential.

For exposed aggregate type finishes, a higher percentage (min 75%) of rhyolite or basalt stone is to be used with a lower percentage (max 25%) of smooth gravel.


The minimum asphalt depth is 25mm, on a well compacted base.


Pavers can be laid on a reinforced concrete slab reinforced concrete driveway slab nominated above, laid at an appropriate level to allow for the depth of the pavers/ tiles and bedding sand.

Pavers/tiles are to be non-slip and maintain an even surface complying with AS 4586 and AS 3661.1

A concrete edge must be provided to restrain the pavers tiles and sand.

Council prefers plain concrete with a coved or broom finish.


How thick does the slab need to be?

Residential driveway: Minimum 125mm with SL72 reinforcing mesh 25 MP at 28 days (AS 3600), dowelled into kerb every 600mm 12mm bar 300mm long.

Commercial driveway: Minimum 200mm with 2 X S L 82 reinforcing mesh 32 MPa t 28 days (AS 3600), dowelled into kerb every 600mm - 16 mm bar 600mm long.

What concrete joints do I need in the driveway?

Full depth sawcut joint at the property boundary.

Full depth 10mm mastic expansion joint to be installed between the layback and driveway.

Where a footpath exists or driveway includes a proposed footpath a dummy joint to be provided across the driveway to indicate footpath alignment.

Where there is no footpath or no proposed footpath a dummy joint is required 1500mm behind the layback, this is to allow for utility installation.

Please refer to:

What if my driveway if off an unformed road?

A Public Works Certificate may be required if the driveway is deemed to have environmental issues, length of driveway exceeds a standard driveway, or grades are steeper than 20%. Council will advise the applicant.

Do I have to reinstate redundant crossings?

Yes, if you wish to move your existing driveway, concrete laybacks must be replaced with kerb, the driveway removed, pipe crossings and in-situ drains must be removed and the ground reinstated. Any disused driveway surface is to be removed and the area re-grassed.

What about sight lines from my driveway

Minimum sight distances to traffic and pedestrians in accordance with AS/NZS 2890.1 -2004, Parking Facilities, Part 1: Off-street car parking. Sight distances should not be affected by existing structures such as street trees, earth mounds, bus shelters, power poles and other physical features. Removal of such structures may be permitted, subject to Council approval.

Where can I find Council's Standard Drawings?

Engineering Guidelines and Standard Drawings can be found at Minor public works or Engineering Guidelines and Standard Drawings.

What do I do when my driveway is completed?

Any excavated areas shall be backfilled, levelled to the top of the driveway slab, and made safe for pedestrians. The nature strip on each side of the driveway must be battered smoothly at a grade no steeper than 1 in 4 to maintain an acceptable standard for pedestrians and allow future provision of concrete foot paving.

Grassed turf to be reinstated on the disturbed nature strip. If the property is a new development, this can be done later upon final landscaping.

I am building a granny flat, can I have a driveway?

The construction of a granny flat on the property does NOT mean that it must have a driveway. The rules referring to a second driveway still apply.

If the block is first subdivided, the building can have a separate driveway as it is treated as an individual block.