Density and Parking

Providing the appropriate levels of infrastructure for parking relies upon robust and thoughtful design. The aim should be to:

  • prioritise and promote cycling and walking for all ages and a range of physical and mental abilities;
  • minimise the requirement for private parking within development in accessible locations;
  • achieve a safe and attractive environment which encourages activity and;
  • effectively future-proof current provision in preparation for future changes in technology, car ownership, driving behaviour and so on.

Issues such as site management, deterring crime, active travel modes, car parking are fundamental to good design – and it is necessary to radically rethink the way such issues are dealt with. Solutions to such problems should form a key part of the development concept of any planning proposal.

It can be difficult to provide space for car parking at ground level while still achieving an attractive urban living environment at housing densities greater than 50 dwellings per hectare. In order that public space is not compromised while current parking standards for Essex are applied, well designed and innovative parking schemes, including basement, undercroft or zero parking provision should be provided, particularly, on schemes of greater density. If the public realm and space behind buildings are cluttered with parked cars, it allows little scope for creating quality space for socialising, play, walking or cycling. Solutions may include underground, underdeck parking, roof top and multi storey car parking.

Future proofing the space allowance for parking remains the end goal for many large-scale development sites which will inevitability evolve over the coming year as policies change. Designing parking spaces which are capable for adaption should be the principle aim.

Page updated: 12/01/2021

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