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Column 24th October 2018

Where should all the cars be parked on new developments?

Several months ago I reported that our local planners and developers appeared to be increasing the number of private parking spaces on new developments but reducing the number of unallocated visitor spaces.

This is happening more and more often. We reported on an application for 88 homes on Park Farm, East Challow which included space for 278 private parking spaces (including garages) and 5 unallocated spaces.

This included 62 garages which many other planning authorities now exclude from the total number of parking spaces as they recognise that few people use their garage for parking (particularly where the private parking spaces are in tandem in front of the garage as they are on most applications).

It was approved with the condition that additional unallocated parking plans had to be agreed.

Since then the site has been sold on to Crest Nicholson and they didn’t like the approved plans. They have submitted a revised application which increases the total number of homes on the site to 114 and the number of parking places to 288 but reduced garages to 56 and unallocated visitor spaces to 4.

As the County Highways department states “this is substantially fewer than should be provided to conform to the local authorities’ parking standards. It is evident that the layout could accommodate more and the highway authority considers that more unallocated visitor parking should be provided, by layout modification if necessary.”

Unless modifications are made before it goes to the Planning Committee, we hope that they make the same decision as last time and require many more visitor spaces to be provided.

On another application for 82 homes at Crab Hill opposite the layby on the A417 there are plans for 174 parking spaces including 28 garages and 4 unallocated visitor spaces.

The County Highways team suggest that at least 18 unallocated spaces should be provided and state that “To avoid unwanted street parking, it is recommended that additional unallocated visitor parking spaces should be provided in accordance with local standards.”

Let’s hope that the Planning Committee read these comments.

Government planning policy proposes that transport assessments in local plans should include analysis of parking facilities including existing under-provision of off-street parking spaces.

Therefore when the next revision of the local plan for Wantage comes out we would expect it to include an analysis of the under-provision of parking on existing developments as well as in the town centre evidenced by the amount of illegal on-street parking which already takes place.


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