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TR9  Requirements for Off-Street Parking  Policy

In assessing the off-street parking provision associated with new development proposals, the Local Planning Authority will be guided by the following considerations:

(i) the contribution of the proposal in supporting the general locational policies of the UDP;

(ii) the impact on the competitive position of urban centres;

(iii) the availability in the locality of alternative modes of transport;

(iv) the operational minimum and maximum level of car parking requirement associated with the proposed development;

(v) road safety and traffic management issues in the locality of the proposal; and

(vi) the likelihood of cars being parked on residential roads.

Reasoned justification :

15.27 The provision of off-street parking must be viewed in the context of overall transport policy, and particularly the need to reduce travel by the private car. The availability of car parking can have a major effect on the choice of mode of transport for journeys.

15.28 In locational terms, Policy TR9 is designed to reduce reliance on the car in areas which are well-served by public transport. Thus, not only is Policy TR9 designed to support the general locational policies of the UDP, but is also an important element in supporting urban centres and the Urban Regeneration Strategy. The Council has instituted measures to achieve this in the Borough's main shopping centres of Birkenhead and Liscard: in Birkenhead through car park pricing policies aimed at discouraging long-stay and commuter parking, a disc zone limited waiting scheme on-street, and further on-street parking restrictions; and in Liscard through similar car parking pricing policies; on-street parking restrictions and the phased introduction of residents' parking schemes on roads surrounding the centre.

15.29 Within appropriate parts of the inner urban area of the Borough, off-street residential parking requirement may be reduced where this would aid affordable high density development in areas to which other modes of transport have good access.

15.30 In order to further support urban centres, the Council will ensure that provision at peripheral commercial and retail locations is not so high as to significantly disadvantage these centres.

15.31 The Council will endeavour to ensure that parking requirements are kept to the operational minimum, and in line with national planning guidance, will not require a higher level of provision than developers themselves wish to provide, unless significant road safety or traffic management considerations would be compromised.

15.32 Further guidance on provision for car parking is given in Supplementary Planning Guidance Note 41. It should be emphasised that the levels of provision outlined in the SPG are not standards, but are to guide developers on the levels of provision which the Local Planning Authority considers are compatible with its strategic aims. The levels of provision given are maximum levels.

15.33 All parking provision should provide spaces for disabled drivers, conveniently located and of adequate size. It is suggested that one disabled car parking space should be provided in any scheme, with additional provision at the rate of one for every fifty spaces.

15.34 The preferred size of parking bays is 5.5 metres long by 2.4 metres wide. A minimum of 4.8 metres in length may be acceptable. Space for wheelchair users should measure 3.6 metres wide by a minimum of 4.8 metres long.

15.35 In appropriate cases, where off-street parking provision is desirable but not practicable, the Local Planning Authority may seek to negotiate with developers to secure planning obligations with a view to obtaining commuted sums in lieu of provision. Such sums may be used to enhance public car parking provision, or to improve facilities for public transport access in the vicinity of the proposed development, depending on circumstances in the locality.

15.36 Many of the Borough's established retail centres suffer from a lack of off-street servicing facilities and opportunities for providing adequate rear servicing should be examined. New developments should provide for their own servicing needs where practicable, or unless adequate alternative facilities are available in the immediate vicinity.