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Parking Provision in New Developments

Parking Provision in New Developments

The research provided evidence which showed the importance of having national maximum parking standards. The final report, completed in August 1999, ran to over 150 pages, plus a 45 page technical appendix. Two case studies were included.

The Government's retreat from maximum parking standards

The Conservative Government in March 1994 issued Planning Policy Guidance note PPG13, Transport. This required strategic policies to avoid the damage caused by "competitive provision of parking by neighbouring authorities". Standards of provision in development plans were to be set "as a range of maximum" amounts of parking for differen types of development.

It quickly became apparent that this advice was not being followed. This led, in 1998, to the parking standards research being commissioned by DETR, to see what needed to be done to improve implementation of PPG13 policy.

The research led, in October 1999 to a draft revision of PPG13, which included a set of national maximum parking standards. 

Reportedly, there followed an intense round of lobbying by the large supermarket chains and others against the proposed maximum parking levels. This persuaded the (Labour) Government to substantially water-down the parking policy. 

The revised PPG13 was issued in March 2001. The concept of national maximum parking standards was retained, but the maximum levels set were far more generous than in the draft, especially for food retail, where the amount of parking to be allowed increased by a third.

The Government in 2011 issued much reduced planning policy guidance (NPPF), in which the draft announced the scrapping of national maximum parking standards. 

Evidence on the need for maximum parking standards

The research was publicly funded but never published, although the Transport Select Committee called for its publication in 2001:

"Supporting research, which justified the parking standards set out in the draft PPG13...has never been published. In view of the need to continue the debate over this very contentious issue we recommend that the national research on parking standards which supported PPG13 now be published."

Ref: "Walking in Towns and Cities", Volume 1, Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee, Eleventh Report, June 2001 (page xlv) see link to Walking in Towns and Cities page

Client(s)DETR (Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions)
Team(s)Tim Pharoah (study director) with 12 others from Llewelyn Davies, Steer Davies Gleave, and MTRU


Parking, parking standards, maximum parking standards, new development, commercial development, planning policy, guidance