Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy TRA3a - Parking Standards for Residential Development and TRA3b- Parking Standards for Non Residential Development (MM79)

Amend supporting text and policies as follows:


5.256 The NPPF allows Local Planning Authorities to set their own parking standards, providing that issues of local car ownership levels, accessibility, the nature and type of the development and the desire to reduce carbon emissions are taken into account.

5.257 Ashford Borough is a large and diverse borough, with extensive rural areas in addition to Ashford town itself which has seen significant expansion over the last decades. A single approach to the provision of car parking is not appropriate for all developments coming forward across the borough during the plan period. This 'zonal' approach to parking standards has been part of the Council's approach for a number of years since the Residential Parking and Design Guidance SPD (2010) was first produced that set out the quantum and design of parking provision in new housing development in the borough.

5.258 The approach taken in this SPD , has proven useful, robust and clear for all parties and has helped to deliver adequate parking spaces to support development in a way that delivers better quality places and environments which is a key aspiration of the Local Plan. As part of the preparation of this Local Plan the Council has revisited the standards in the its Residential Parking and Design Guidance SPD and revised them slightly in the 'suburban' and 'rural' areas by promoting supporting slightly higher minimum parking standards for certain types of residential uses. This is considered to better reflects a more realistic approach market demand and considering car ownership levels (now and future trends).

5.259 For the town centre area (as identified under policy SP4) - and within the central areas of larger developments - a more significant change is now proposed. Here the Local Plan now advocates a minimum parking standard of 1 space per residential unit. This standard takes account of local circumstances including car ownership data (and future assumptions), historic problems of insufficient parking facilities in central areas and ensures that sufficient parking spaces are delivered to support development in this location.

5.260 For the avoidance of doubt, the policy below supersedes the standards set out in the 2010 SPD apart from the standards set out for visitor provision. Here the SPD standards should still be used. In addition, with the key exception of the design and layout guidance contained within the existing SPD which remains valid and should be reflected in proposals coming forward.

Care should be taken to ensure that parking is well designed, easily accessible and is sympathetic to the surrounding environment. Unallocated parking spaces, including those required for visitor parking in residential areas, should be seamlessly integrated into the public realm to reduce the visual impact, and be suitably located so that they do not cause obstructions to the highway.

Policy TRA3 (a) - Parking Standards for Residential Development

Proposals for residential development within the town centre area identified on the Policies Map or within ‘central areas’ of larger developments shall deliver a minimum parking standard of 1 space per residential unit on average. It is expected that all of this provision should be delivered on-site.

Proposals for residential development elsewhere shall achieve the following minimum parking standards:


Suburban and Rural locations

1 bed dwelling

1 space per unit

2-3 bed dwelling

2 spaces per unit

4+ bed dwelling

3 spaces per unit

Visitor parking should be provided primarily off-plot in short stay car parks where available OR on-plot at 0.2 spaces per dwelling in major residential schemes where layout permits.

Parking to support residential development within the Borough shall follow the design, layout and accessibility guidance contained within the Council’s Residential Parking SPD.


Amend first sentence of Policy TRA3 (b) as follows:

Policy TRA3 (b) - Parking Standards for Non Residential Development

Proposals for non-residential developments within the Borough shall provide parking facilities to at least the following parking standards:

….Use class list of requirements unchanged…..

Insert new sentence:

Proposals not falling within the above use classes, including sui generis uses, should provide a level of parking proportionate to its activity, and be agreed with the Local Highway Authority and the Council.

Amend second part of policy and criteria a) b) and c) as follows:

In exceptional cases, the Council may require proposals may to depart from the standards in policies TRA3 (a) or TRA3 (b) if any of the following apply:-

a) A bespoke parking standard is included as part of site specific policy within this Local Plan that seeks to take into account specific local circumstances in that area;

b) In order to take account of specific local circumstances that may require a higher or lower level of parking provision, including as a result of the development site's accessibility to public transport, shops and services, highway safety concerns and local on-street parking problems;

c) Where an operator or potential occupier requires either more or less fewer parking spaces to cater for their specific operational needs, such requirements can be clearly evidenced and where their presence has wider planning benefits;