Parking Standards SPD

Ended on the 7 May 2018
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This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out Warwick District Council's detailed policies on parking for both vehicles andbicycles.

It supplements policy TR4 of the Local Plan adopted September 2017. It replaces the former WDC Parking Standards (2007), which required review in the context of the adoption of both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the new Local Plan.

Policy context

1.1 With the adoption of the NPPF (2012) there has been a significant shift in national policy and advice in respect of car and vehicle parking. Before the NPPF, national policy required maximum parking standards, aimed at limiting car ownership with a view to encouraging alternative modes of travel. Current national policy and guidance recognises that this approach in isolation has little/no impact on car ownership, and has instead often created issues and tensions in neighbourhoods where parking provision does not meet demand. As such, paragraph 39 of the NPPF now requires Local Planning Authorities to take the following matters into account when developing parking standards:

  • The accessibility of the development
  • The type, mix and use of development
  • The availability of and opportunities for public transport
  • Local car ownership levels
  • An overall need to reduce the use of high emission vehicles

1.2 The Ministerial Statement of March 2015 also specifically discourages the imposition of restrictive parking standards, unless there is evidence that they are required to address specific highway management and safety issues.

Vehicle ownership in Warwick District

1.3 Data from the 2011 Census demonstrated that the proportion of households with no access to a car/van had decreased from 19.4% to 18.4% since the 2001 Census, and the trend for increasing car ownership is anticipated to continue.

1.4 Tables detailing vehicle ownership data for the district are included in the supporting evidence paper, and this data has informed the Parking Standards set out in this document. Key points from the data can be summarised as:

The percentage of households with no access to a vehicle is lower than in the national and regional context.
The percentage of households with two or more cars is higher within the district than in the national and regional contexts.
  • In predominantly rural wards, the % of dwellings with no cars can be up to a third less than the district average.
  • Kenilworth wards also have a notably lower % of dwellings with no access to a car or van.
  • Other more urban wards tend to have a higher % of households with no access to a vehicle.
  • Brunswick ward has approximately double the no. of dwellings with no access to a car than the district average
  • Clarendon and Crown wards have similar numbers of dwellings with no access to a car/van, at more than 50% above the district average
  • Wards where the % of dwellings that have no vehicles is lowest; tend to have higher than average ownership of 2 or more cars.

Aims and scope

1.5 The principal objective of this SPD is to ensure delivery of sufficient cycle and vehicle parking to meet the demands of new developments. In addition to guiding the amount of vehicle and cycle parking provided in new developments, this document will also set out some basic design principles aimed at ensuring parking is provided as conveniently as possible for intended users, and at mitigating visual impacts of greater numbers of parking spaces. Research published in 'Space to Park' sets out that in multiple case studies, parking was cited by residents as problematic even where the amount of parking provided is sufficient

in quantitative terms to meet demand. The 'problems' arise when residents choose to park in places where the design and layout had not intended (e.g. up kerbs, on footpaths and on grass verges), due to their designated parking spaces being perceived to be less convenient or inadequate. The research therefore concludes that the overall location

and design of parking provision is arguably as important as ensuring sufficient supply.

As such this SPD will address:

  • The amount of parking spaces to be provided
  • The location, and therefore the convenience of the spaces relative to the properties they serve
  • The practical usability of the spaces provided – e.g. are car parking spaces wide enough to park and open car doors without hitting a wall? Does the layout of the plot and its dimensions allow space to pass easily with a bicycle to reach the storage space provided, or drag a wheelie bin past a parked car where appropriate?

1.6 It is clearly desirable to encourage travel by means other than the private car. However it is clear from the outcomes of the previous policy approach nationally, that restricting car parking alone will have little to no effect on modal choice. It is now widely accepted that whilst residents may choose to make certain trips by alternative modes, they are likely to continue to retain a car for others. Therefore demand for space to park cars at home is considered unlikely to diminish in the foreseeable future. In light of this, it is concluded that

whilst this SPD will set clear objectives for cycle parking standards as part of a wider objective of encouraging other modes, it is beyond the scope of this SPD to go further in this agenda.

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