Access to Non-residential Uses

Non-residential uses such as churches, community halls, shops and small businesses would preferably  be located within a 20mph zone. Schools should preferably be located within 20mph zones and should not be accessed via a cul-de-sac. The school entrance should be arranged to provide a frontage of non-vehicular public space. Adjacent footways should be at least 3m in width.

Businesses likely to be regularly serviced by vehicles larger than 7.5 tonnes, such as retail stores or supermarkets, must be served on their delivery side by a road no smaller than type D, or else by a 6m-wide one-way loop road.

Heavy industrial uses will not be appropriate in or near a residential area without suitable mitigation to avert unacceptable impacts on human health and wellbeing. Other businesses will be considered on their merits, dependent on their size and the traffic they are likely to generate.

Parking and service areas for non-residential uses will not be adoptable by the Highway Authority, but where they are shared by a number of small retail or business users and not frequented by vehicles larger than 7.5 tonnes, developers should consider fronting buildings onto them and encouraging through pedestrian movement. This will help to ensure that they do not become enclosed areas liable to criminal activity. These should be wrapped by perimeter development to form a private, discreet and secure rear court, or framed by overlooking development frontage and landscaped to provide attractive and self-policed public realm.

Parking for non-residential uses should be provided according to how accessible those uses are by means of transport other than the car, and by whether trips are shared between a number of adjacent uses or peak at different times. Consideration should be given during the design of such spaces for how deliveries and servicing are likely to change in future, and to how the layout can accommodate such changes without detriment to the urban form and public realm.

As the purpose of locating non-residential uses in or adjacent to a predominantly residential area is to encourage trips by means other than by car, car parks should not be placed in front of main entrances but at the side or rear of buildings, where they will not form an obstacle to pedestrian or cycle access.

Larger car parks such as those operated by retail stores should be fragmented into a number of smaller car parks and generously tree-planted. Secure cycle parking should be provided in accordance to the EPOA Essex Parking Standards.

Consideration should also be given to how larger car parks are likely to change over time as a result of a reduction in private car ownership and increase in autonomous vehicles. These large areas of hard surfacing often occupy a significant proportion of land in key locations, and it is important to consider how the space can adapt and change should car use reduce.

Page updated: 24/09/2019

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