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Parking and Accessibility Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultation (stage three)

We want your views on the final draft of the SPD following the two rounds of consultation in 2021 and 2022. The SPD provides guidance to ensure an appropriate level of parking for a variety of modes of transport on all new developments.

A total of 17 responses were received to the consultation from developers and other interested bodies. The document is being finalised and will be adopted by the Council in 2023.


We originally set out parking and accessibility requirements in a guidance document when assessing planning applications. During the creation of the County Durham Plan, the planning inspector recommended that this guidance be reviewed and set out more formally as an SPD to support Policy 21 (Delivering Sustainable Transport) of the Plan.

What the document covers

The SPD sets out what types and amounts of parking a developer should provide at new developments (including residential, retail, employment, and leisure). This includes:

  • general parking
  • electric vehicles
  • cycle parking
  • disabled parking
  • motorcycle parking

Making sure there is enough parking for a broad range of transport types will improve access for all and encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport.

Key proposed changes to the document in this consultation

Following the previous rounds of consultation, we have:

  • amended the residential parking standards to:
Number of bedroomsMinimum allocated in curtilage (land associated with the property eg driveways, garages)
oneone per home
twotwo per home
threetwo per home
fourthree per home
fivethree per home
six or morefour per home
  • aligned the SPD more to the standards being used in Northumberland - the inclusion of garages as counting towards a parking space reflects feedback from housing developers in the previous consultations
  • added text stating that we may consider removing permitted development rights, to control the future loss of garages to conversions for other uses, on a case by case basis
  • made a change to reflect a proposed change to our Highway Design Guide that residential estate roads on sites under 100 homes should be a minimum width of 5.5 metres
  • added a requirement that all new homes should have an electric vehicle (EV) charging point (minimum 7 kW) in accordance with part S of the building regulations
  • updated public transport accessibility text in the residential guidance, which had been previously removed
  • added new text to reflect the opportunity to reduce car parking at commercial developments that already have good walking and cycling links, which will work with our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) which are under development
  • amended short and long stay cycle parking guidance to reflect the guidance set out in DfT's Local Transport Note 1/20
  • updated guidance to say that every destination car park should have an inclusive/accessible EV charging point and bay
  • amended the SPD to reflect that 25% of all parking bays on non-residential sites should have some level of EV provision, whether that be passive (wiring ready for future use) or active
  • changed the SPD to be guidance (rather than standards) which allows more flexibility for decision makers

Have your say

The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on Sunday 9 July 2023.

What happens next

Following this consultation, any final amendments will be considered and justified before the document is completed and adopted. Once adopted, the SPD will assist in the planning process.

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