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Transport and Developments Supplementary Planning Document (SPD): closed consultation

The impact on facilities and conditions for driving

The Transport and Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) outlines the responsibilities that developers will have for planning sustainable and accessible travel and transport options, when submitting planning applications. They will need to plan for travel within developments, and to and from key destinations outside them, such as town centres.

This will mean making provisions to reduce some harmful impacts of cars on communities, and supporting transitions to more sustainable options, where these are feasible. The proposals set out concrete obligations for developers to provide suitable alternatives to driving, and lay down principles which will make other travel options more accessible, safe and attractive. 

This SPD includes guidance around providing facilities to park or store your vehicle, and detailed proposals for how developments will need to plan for and enable the transition to lower emission vehicles (ULEV). We welcome your comments on these policies and guidance.

Parking and storage

Parking design and layout can have a positive impact on the safety of all road users, access for emergency services, the quality of the environment, and the character and appearance of development, in addition to improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities. The SPD sets requirements for the location, layout and design of car parking, including minimum space and dimension requirements. This includes car parking for Blue Badge holders, people with young children, electric vehicles and commercial vehicles. The guidelines have the aim of encouraging more active travel, and reducing car usage.

The principles in the SPD aim to have the following impacts on new developments and redevelopments:

  • Creating a better balance between the needs of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in communities, with more space for cycle and pedestrian routes and green infrastructure and social spaces

  • Avoiding haphazard, informal or inconsiderate parking behaviour and its associated effects (for example, parking on footways as a result of excess demand for on-street parking supply), by providing sufficient (but not excessive) parking, controlling on-street parking where appropriate, and enabling travel behaviour change

  • Improving air quality and addressing the Climate and Environmental Emergency

  • Improving physical and mental health, through promoting more active lifestyles

The SPD lays out in detail a review of parking standards for major developments, with the following central principles:

  • A zonal approach to setting parking standards, which divides our district into zones, to reflect differences in accessibility

  • Analysing the accessibility of sites, to help to determine reasonable sustainable travel alternatives to car use, and using this to guide parking standards

  • Maximum parking standards (which limit space dedicated to car parking) for 'origin parking' (parking at home in residential developments). We have set this level to achieve low-car developments where facilities like excellent accessibility, car clubs and Controlled Parking Zones, which limit overspill parking, make it possible to do so

  • Accommodating car ownership needs in areas with lower accessibility levels, whilst avoiding excessive parking requirements

  • Retaining maximum parking standards for 'destination parking' in non-residential developments. We have reviewed and adjusted these guidelines to promote sustainable transport and avoid encouraging unnecessary car usage

Supporting the move to ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV)

Whilst our priority is to reduce car usage overall, it is also critical to transition to 'greener' electric vehicles (ULEV), as part of our strategy to reduce harmful impacts of car travel.

The ULEV element of the SPD aims to ensure that major developments provide enough, well-located and appropriate, electric charging infrastructure to meet motorists' needs, now and in the future. This will mean taking account of the following issues:

  • Recognising there will be different ULEV user groups, and balancing their needs. For example, charging requirements in terms of speed of charger (from 7KW chargers, known as 'fast',  to facilities over 50KW in size, known as 'rapid') and level of provision will vary significantly between residences, supermarkets, workplaces and transit locations, such as service stations

  • Balancing the demand for 'Active' and 'Passive' charge points. ('Active' means supplying charge points which are already installed and ready to use, and 'passive' refers to the provision of underlying infrastructure: cabling and power supply, which can be quickly converted to active use when demand increases in the future). Passive provision effectively future-proofs for uptake above what is forecast. Whilst initial capital cost is increased, the cost and disruption involved in installing chargers in future is reduced balancing cost and provision.

We are proposing the following standards of charging provision for ULEV vehicles:

  • In residential developments, each property where parking is provided must have access to a fast, active charge point, to ensure widespread access to a home charge point, as the majority of ULEV charging occurs at home. For single dwellings with on-plot parking, this equates to one charger per dwelling, regardless of the number of spaces per dwelling.
  • Where parking is shared, all spaces will need an active charge point. Larger residential developments with additional local facilities will need to provide an additional rapid charge point.
  • For non-residential development, one in ten spaces will need an active fast charge point. Passive provision, ready for future conversion to active charge points, will depend on the number of parking spaces. For up to 30 parking spaces, one space in two should have passive provision. Above 30 parking spaces, one space in five should have passive provision