Policy TR7 Provision of Car Parks

A development proposal for a new, or an extension of an existing public or private car park, including Park & Ride or Park & Share, will be permitted where the applicant has demonstrated that all the following criteria are met:

  1. the proposal meets a need identified by DfI in the Local Transport Plan;
  2. it does not significantly contribute to an increase in traffic congestion;
  3. it includes a high standard of design, layout and landscaping;
  4. provision has been made for security, and the direct and safe access and movement of pedestrians and cyclists within the site;
  5. provision has been made for accessible parking bays which facilitate safe, convenient access for people with a disability or impaired mobility; and
  6. surface level parking utilises sustainable drainage (SuDS).

A development proposal for a temporary car park will be permitted where the proposal complies with all the above criteria. In addition, it must be submitted in conjunction with a programmed proposal to develop or redevelop the site. Planning permission, if granted, will be subject to a time-limited condition of a maximum of two years which will not be renewed.

Justification and Amplification

The supply of adequate public parking facilities within our towns, in particular, is vital to maintaining economic vitality and viability and to allow them to compete with out-of-centre developments and the other challenges facing the high street. This, however, needs to be balanced against the sustainable transport aims of reducing reliance on the private car and encouraging shoppers and commuters to walk or cycle, to use public transport or park and ride/park and share facilities. Proposals will therefore be required to meet a need identified in the Local Transport Plan, which will incorporate a Car Parking Strategy.

New town centre parking provision should focus on the demand generated by the economic benefits of short-stay spaces for shoppers and visitors rather than increasing the supply of spaces for long stay commuter spaces which can act as an impediment to economic growth by contributing to congestion. In locations where a proposal is considered acceptable, the Council may require the applicant to enter into a Section 76 agreement to control the use of the parking spaces approved, including restrictions on the leasing of contract spaces.

The Council will expect a high standard of design, layout and landscaping for all car parking proposals as the scale and layout of car parking can have a significant impact on local townscape quality and character. Car parks should be well designed and respect local character. They should also provide safe and convenient access/egress for vehicles as well as for cyclists and pedestrians, including those with disabilities or impaired mobility. All parking provision should include an appropriate amount of electric charging points and ‘parent and child’ parking spaces.

Proposals for surface level parking should avoid the creation of a vast amount of dead space and include a well-designed landscaping scheme including appropriate boundary and surface treatments. Sustainable drainage (SuDS), should be incorporated into proposals to help reduce surface water run-off that inevitably results from large expanses of concrete or tarmac surfaces. For any multi-level or basement parking, the building at street level must have an active frontage, where practicable.

Park and Ride/Park and Share

The Council will also support development proposals for Park & Ride or Park & Share facilities in appropriate locations where it helps to reduce congestion around urban areas by either increasing the occupancy of cars on roads, or encouraging the use of public transport. Such facilities should normally be sited at key junctions on main transport routes, on the edge of settlements, or close to transport hubs.

Temporary Car Parks

Development proposals for temporary car parks will be assessed against the same criteria as permanent car parks. In addition to this, the applicant must demonstrate how the proposed temporary car park is linked to a firm longer-term proposal for the redevelopment of the site. Any planning approval will be time-limited to a maximum of two years to give the applicant sufficient lead-in time to proceed with the redevelopment of the site for its longer term use. Any subsequent planning applications to renew or extend this temporary period will be refused as the longer term existence of such car parks is likely to hinder economic growth potential, particularly in town centres, and may also contribute to prolonged traffic congestion and adverse impacts on local townscape quality and character.

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