Consultation on parking spaces for new developments

BCC councillor Ruth Vigor-Hedderly
BCC councillor Ruth Vigor-Hedderly

How much parking space developers should provide when building housing estates, factories, offices is the subject to a council consultation which launched yesterday (Monday).

Residents are invited to give their feedback on the guidance which was drawn up by Bucks County Council after gathering evidence and statistics from the four district councils across Bucks.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, cabinet member for transport said: “This is based on real world evidence that has been thoroughly researched.

“I want residents to have confidence that new housing estates won’t have parked cars spilling over into their streets.”

The proposals, covering cars, bikes, motorcycles and blue badge holders, are a ‘first’ for the county, which currently doesn’t have county-wide parking standards. The new guidance, which will be reviewed by cabinet members in the light of consultation feedback, aims to provide for parking that will:

• More closely match local needs, accounting for variations between urban and rural communities.

• Be realistic about demands for parking.

• Account for Buckinghamshire’s higher than average three-car ownership.

• Recognise that every development is unique and ‘one size doesn’t fit all’.

• Encourage ‘sustainable’ travel by including provision for bikes and motorcycles.

Ms Vigor-Hedderly said: ‘There are now well over 300,000 private cars and vans in the county and we’ve one of the highest percentages of three-plus car households in the South-East.

“We need to help our residents and visitors to park well.”

According to the 2011 census, Bucks has almost 19,000 three-vehicle households, 9.4% of a total of more than 200,000 homes - against a South East average of 6.7%. Two-car households account for 36.2% of the total number of homes.

In 2007 Bucks had just over 16,000 three-vehicle households - 8.7% of the county’s 188,000 households.

Homes with two cars accounted for 37.5% of the total number of homes.

Ryan Bunce, service lead officer for policy, strategy and development said detailed research undertaken in compiling the new guidance had taken account of government figures to understand how many cars people really owned, and had divided the county into zones to meet the different needs of different places.

He said: “It is flexibile enough to provide a different amount of parking where developers can provide good evidence that this would be the right thing to do.

“We hope this will all help to make sure new developments provide the right parking, but we want to hear what our residents think.”