London Plan Policy 6.13 (Parking) seeks to restrain car parking provision and includes maximum car parking standards for different uses (although minimum amounts of ‘Blue Badge’ spaces are required). It also requires 20% active provision of Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCP) and 10% passive provision for car parking spaces in office developments. The car parking standards are set out in Table 6.2 and cycle parking standards in Table 6.3.
London Plan Policy 6.9 (Cycling) requires the provision of secure, integrated and accessible cycle parking facilities for long-stay users (staff and residents) and short-stay users (visitors) and on-site changing facilities and showers. London Plan Policy 6.13 sets out minimum cycle parking standards in Table 6.3.
CS Policy 33 (Promoting sustainable transport) makes clear that the Council is committed to prioritising sustainable transport, walking and cycling over private car use. It also states that car parking will be controlled in line with regional policy and local parking standards in the emerging Sustainable Transport SPD and that, where appropriate, car-free development, car club bays and electric vehicle charging provision will be required. So far no Sustainable Transport SPD has been prepared.
Hackney will expect to see car free and car capped developments, in most locations throughout the Borough but particularly in those that:
(i) Have a high PTAL rating (Level 4, 5 or 6), or
(ii) Are near a wide range of amenities including shops and leisure activities, or
(iii) Are within an operational Controlled Parking Zone or area of known parking stress.
(iv) Where the provision of off-street parking would be likely to cause conflict with pedestrians and other road users.
The policy goes on to make clear that the Council will expect adequate dedicated disabled parking provision in accordance with the London Plan standards.
The policy also makes clear that for development proposals outside of CPZs, developers will be required to submit a parking stress survey for assessment by the Council. Where a high level of parking stress is found, the Council will expect the proposed scheme to be car-free.
Finally, the policy states that developments should provide high quality parking facilities in accordance with the London Plan maximum car parking and minimum cycle parking standards.
The justifying text (8.4.5) to this policy notes that on-street parking spaces tend to cater for a wide range of users including residents, short stay visitor parking and to facilitate loading and servicing requirements. However, on-street parking is a limited resource and demand exceeds supply in many parts of Hackney. This is particularly true in the south and west of the Borough and in the vicinity of town centres but also includes many other areas where the number of spaces available is unable to meet existing demand, creating queuing traffic and congestion, illegal parking and compromising highway safety. Balancing these needs therefore requires careful management and development proposals that compromise the availability of existing spaces may be refused.
The proposals would result in a significant reduction in off street car parking provision for existing residents. The Housing Supply Programme (HSP) Cabinet report (February 2016) (paragraph 6.13.1) states that licensed garage occupation is generally low across the relevant potential schemes and refers to occupancy at Lincoln Court as being 13.5% (which works out at 27 spaces). In any event, the LCTRA understands that the actual current occupancy is 15% (30 spaces). However, this is unlikely to represent the real demand for car parking for Lincoln Court, as the Council has been refusing to lease any garage spaces in response to new enquiries since at least February 2013.
The HSP Cabinet report (February 2016 (paragraph 6.13.2) states that:
“The new developments will be car free or have very limited parking provision in accordance with planning policy. Current use on each existing site will be confirmed during the detailed design development stage and parking stress surveys will be commissioned where appropriate. This will identify the capacity of both existing street parking and any adjacent garage sites to support any displacement requirements and/or additional need created by the new homes. Detailed design development work will include an appraisal of options for re-provision of existing legitimate parking with reference to these survey reports. Eligibility for access to any re-provision will be clearly defined. Officers undertake to provide practical solutions where current residents with parking rights relocate to new homes delivered by the HSP under the new Local Lettings Policy.”
In October 2016, Hackney’s Cabinet considered a report on parking consultation in Stamford Hill West based upon the results of consulation exercise undertaken in October – November 2015. The results of this consultation were overwhelmingly against the introduction of parking controls in Bethune Road, with 84% of responses received in opposition.
A subsequent Technical Assessment Report (January 2017) which was submitted to Cabinet in January 2018, provided results from an updated parking stress survey which identified a large number of streets in the area that suffer from ‘significant parking stress’ (defined as 80% or more of road occupancy as a percentage of its potential parking capacity). This included Bethune Road, the results for which are indicated in the table below:
Authorisation has been given by Cabinet on the basis of this report for further consultation to be undertaken in Bethune Road, which is designated within Consultation Area 1. Although this exercise had not been undertaken at the time of writing this report, it is understood that there is still substantial opposition to the imposition of parking controls.
The sketch proposals in the July 2014 BPA feasibility study indicate 35 standard-sized car parking spaces, and appear to allocate 15 of these to the occupiers of existing flats in the three towers (which amounts to 7.5% of homes), and 20 spaces for the proposed new homes (which amounts to 23% of homes). The proposed scheme would result in fewer car parking spaces for existing residents than the number of spaces that are currently occupied and this in itself is likely to be an under estimate of demand. This number could reduce if accessible bays are provided – to prioritise wheelchair users.
Whilst planning policy encourages car free / limited parking provision, this is usually in areas where there are on-street car parking controls in place and where new residents can be prevented from obtaining a permit. This is not the case here and there would be no mechanism for preventing existing or future residents from seeking to park on nearby residential streets and adding to parking stress.