Parking pundits

Developers should consider early engagement with transport planning experts if parking matters pose an obstacle to planning permission.  Motion Technical Director John Russell cites two recent cases, where it was successfully demonstrated that parking policy had been incorrectly applied.

An appeal statement was prepared by Motion in relation to a proposal to increase a house in multiple occupation (HMO) from six to seven units.  The application was for ‘sui generis’ use.  The council considered the development to be ‘flats’, rather than HMO, and applied its maximum car parking standards.  The authority argued that there was a shortfall of two parking spaces and the development was contrary to Local Plan policy.

Motion pointed out that the local parking strategy referred to maximum provision and it was therefore incorrect to argue ‘under provision’ on policy grounds.  The team highlighted that even if a shortfall existed, the application was only for one dwelling, and at most only half an additional car parking space was required.  John Russell explains “The highway authority stipulated half a car parking space per bedroom.  Two additional spaces would therefore equate to four additional bedrooms instead of the single additional bedroom that was the subject of the planning application.”  Motion also demonstrated that extensive on-street car parking was available, and that one extra vehicle would not severely affect the free flow of traffic or highway safety.

Motion keeps dentist smiling
The new owners of a dental surgery became aware that the practice had more consulting rooms than was permitted.  The highway authority claimed there was insufficient car parking space to cater for the size of the business.  A breach of planning enforcement notice was issued to reduce the number of consulting rooms.  Motion prepared a transport statement in support of a retrospective planning application, which would enable the surgery to continue operating as normal.  It was successfully demonstrated that parking was sufficient and lower than the maximum level expected by the highway authority.  Planning permission was awarded retrospectively to a very happy client.

If you have a parking challenge, call John Russell on 01483 531300 for a preliminary discussion or email

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Winter 2018/19 issue of Insight.

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