SOUTHEND residents could soon be forced to install costly dropped kerbs, which would boost council coffers by up to £1.5million a year.

The new borough administration is determined to clamp down on people who drive across kerbs and pavements to get to park outside their homes. It’s estimated £500,000 of damage is caused each year, footed by council tax payers. Those who don’t comply could be made to rebuild front garden walls.

While the current cost of installing a drop kerb, or so-called crossover, to give access from the road to a property, is in excess of £2,000, the new joint administrations says it is looking at ways of making up to £1million a year to boost dwindling council funds.

Deputy leader, Independent Ron Woodley, councillor responsible for transport, said: “People are driving over pavements because they haven’t got crossovers. They are driving over footways that are not strong enough to take that.

“Unless we as residents take note of what we are doing then costs will continue to build.

“With funding being cut it is costing us £500,000.

“We will go around and write to people and explain how they can do this with council help without getting an architect involved so that would be cheaper for residents.

“If they fail to do it they would have to replace walls.

“If we do that we could raise £1million a year .”

Developers who allow heavy vehicles to break up pavements and roads are also likely to be hit hard too.

Mr Woodley added: “Developers are not protecting our footways and don’t pay due care and attention to footways. They are smashing them up with heavy lorries and going over them with diggers.

“One way of preventing this is to ensure developers pay a bond during the planning process against any damage to pavements and roads.”

The installation of the so-called “crossovers” are costly for residents to install, but the move would save the council tax payer money spent on repairs each year.

Planning permission may be required before an application is made to the council. Architects charge about £250 to draw up plans for dropped kerbs to be submitted to the council.

The council the charges £140 for the application which includes a site assessment.

Construction can only be carried out by a council approved contractor and the applicant will only find out how much this is after receiving permission to go ahead.

Finally, the applicant then has to pay the council another £85 to inspect the site.