Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Parking Standards

10.29 Owning a car is an essential part of daily life for many people in South Somerset. 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%[1]. The rural nature of South Somerset must be considered in setting appropriate levels of parking provision in new development.

10.30 The amount of parking provided in new developments should strike an appropriate balance that considers various issues. Enough car parking needs to be provided to help support the local economy and allow people to make necessary trips, particularly for those whose only realistic travel option is the car. Too much car parking can encourage car use and lead to congestion and increased CO2 emissions, and can waste land and result in poorly designed places; whilst too little parking can lead to parking in inappropriate places, making the streets more cluttered.

10.31 Other key issues in setting parking standards include car ownership; the accessibility of the development; the type, mix and use of development; and the overall need to reduce the use of high-emission vehicles.[2]

10.32 Cycling is supported for many important reasons, including improving health and well being, minimising CO2 emissions, and reducing traffic congestion. A fundamental part of encouraging people to cycle is by providing high quality, secure and convenient cycle parking in new developments. Somerset County Council's (SCC) Travel Planning guidance (November 2011) includes further detail on this. The County Council’s Future Transport Plan cycling strategy is yet to be concluded and its policies and proposals will be taken on board where they accord with policies in this document.

10.33 SCC has adopted the Countywide Parking Strategy (March 2012), which includes parking standards for cars, cycles and motorcycles for both residential and non-residential development. It is logical and appropriate to apply the Highway Authority's car parking standards in South Somerset and the District Council has endorsed their use.

10.34 The adopted Countywide Parking Strategy will therefore be applied when considering parking provision for new developments in South Somerset. The County Council has clarified that urban extensions (such as Yeovil and Chard) should adopt the parking standards of the adjacent settlement.

Policy TA6: Parking Standards

Parking provision in new development should be design-led and based upon site characteristics, location and accessibility. The parking standards within the Somerset County Council Parking Strategy will be applied in South Somerset.


10.35 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy TA6:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Somerset County Council.
Monitoring Indicators Target
Development complying with adopted SCC Parking Strategy car, cycle and motorcycle parking standards 100% achievement (Subject to mitigating Circumstances)
1. Source Census 2001 data [back]
2. NPPF March 2012 (Para. 39 page 11) [back]