To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration providing an update and proposed next steps in response to Motion 560 (Review of Development Management Policies on Parking)
The Cabinet had before it and NOTED a * report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration providing an update and proposed next steps in response to Motion 560 (Review of Development Management Policies on Parking).
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the content of the report stating that the report provided an update and proposed next steps in response to his Motion 560 (Review of Development Management Policies on Parking). The Motion was agreed at Full Council on 8 January 2020 and stated that:
“…Officers start work on undertaking a review of Mid Devon’s development management policies regarding parking on new estates. These should include the number of parking spaces per property as well as how development management can help ease the transition to electric or hybrid vehicles in the future”
The paper highlighted some of the possible changes members may wish to consider and the most appropriate mechanisms to bring those forward.
The report also provided a detailed review of the evidence in relation to the number of parking spaces per property. It set out the Council’s current standard of 1.7 spaces per dwelling and the methodology applied to calculate that figure. It then considered any changes to the evidence base that had arisen since that standard was formulated. The report noted that there had been very little change in household car ownership between 2002/03 and 2017/18. Whilst car ownership had seen little change, the number of journeys being made by each car was falling. The report also recognised that Mid Devon was a rural area and therefore many areas had limited transport choices.
Taking all of those factors into account, it was considered that the current minimum parking standards were still justified and appropriate at this time. There was a need to keep this under review as the next Local Plan was progressed. Should no up-to-date evidence be available nationally, the Council might wish to consider producing a local evidence study to understand car ownership and usage in more detail.
The report also considered how development management could help ease the transition to electric or hybrid vehicles in the future. The Local Plan included minimum standards for the provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
In terms of possible changes members might wish to consider that evidence indicated that the number of ultra-low emissions vehicles was rising rapidly in Mid Devon. It was therefore considered that a planning policy which required a higher proportion of EV charging points within new housing and commercial developments could be justified. The most expedient way of achieving this was to consider a EV charging infrastructure policy through the next development plan.
Consideration was given to:
· Whether certain evidence was required if Council sought to increase the number of cars per dwelling.
· The need to review the parking policies regularly, specifically with regard to climate change issues and the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic where the use of the car to travel to work may change
· The need to increase the use of public transport
· Charging points in public spaces
· The parking policies within the adopted Local Plan Review and the need for a further review of the Local Plan to begin as soon as possible as well as reviewing the transport strategy and other associated guidance
· Whether new development should have wider roads to allow for more parking
· The Government had recently consulted on an amendment to Building Regulations for electric vehicle charging point installation
· The desire to deliver further electric charging points in the district and possible negotiations with developers
· The idea of drafting a policy now that could be adopted in the future as part of a review of the Local Plan
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.