Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Parking Standards

10.27 The availability of car parking is a key factor for people when choosing their means of transport, and can be more significant than the level of public transport available.[1] South Somerset is a largely rural District where owning a car is an essential part of daily life for many people. This is shown by higher than average car ownership levels in South Somerset where just 16% of households do not have access to a car, compared to a national average of 27%.

10.28 A balance needs to be struck between encouraging sustainable transport modes through lower car parking levels that could help tackle congestion and reduce CO2 emissions, and providing necessary car parking spaces for those whose only travel option is the car. The rural nature of much of South Somerset must be considered in setting appropriate levels of car parking provision in new development.

10.29 Other key issues in setting car parking standards include: expected levels of car ownership, the need to use land efficiently, the promotion of good design, and the need to provide adequate levels of good quality secure parking in town centres to encourage investment and maintain their vitality and viability.[2] South Somerset's District-wide Parking Strategy outlines that within settlements other than Yeovil it is essential to meet demand with adequate parking provision in order to support their vitality and viability. However at Yeovil, a rationalisation of car parks is sought in order to enable the redevelopment of town centre sites. The Government publication 'Manual for Streets' (DfT, 2007) should be used to inform the high quality design of residential parking.

10.30 The promotion of cycling is supported for many important reasons, including improving health and well being, reducing CO2 emissions, and reducing traffic congestion. The amount of good quality cycle parking in developments should be increased to promote more cycle use.[3] The Somerset Cycling Strategy (March 2006) states that the provision of cycle parking is arguably the single most important element of any cycling strategy - if there is nowhere safe and convenient to park at the journey's end, the journey will not be made by bicycle, and if there is no residential bicycle parking provided, occupiers will either not own a bicycle or use it infrequently. Minimum standards for cycle parking spaces in new development are set out in the Somerset Countywide Parking Strategy.

10.31 Draft Government policy encourages opportunities for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at new developments with parking facilities. The opportunities for doing this are likely to be greater at major urban extensions, particularly at Yeovil if the urban extension is developed to Eco Town standards.

10.32 The Local Transport Planning and Highway Authority, Somerset County Council (SCC) are responsible for providing guidance on the levels of parking provision that will be required for different types of development. This advice is set out in the Somerset Countywide Parking Strategy. This strategy is currently being revised and is expected to be published alongside the Somerset Future Transport Plan in Spring 2011. The revised parking standards will be referenced at the submission stage of the Core Strategy.

Policy TA4 Parking Standards

Parking provision in new development should be design-led and based upon site characteristics, location and accessibility.  Parking standards should be consistent with the Somerset Countywide Parking Strategy and encourage more sustainable travel choices.

1. PPG 13: Transport, 2001 [back]
2. PPS 3: Housing, 2006; PPS 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth, 2009 [back]
3. PPG 13: Transport, 2001 [back]