Town centre parking judged to be sustainable

Sustainabilty, accessibility and road safety aims would be met by a temporary car park proposed in a Kent town centre, an inspector has decided.

The council had refused permission to use the vacant site as long-stay parking for three years on the grounds that it would be unnecessary, encourage car travel and harm highway safety. After considering parking reviews carried out for the appeal, the inspector noted that, despite the recent development of a new town centre car park, there was an ongoing demand for parking, particularly long-stay parking, in the area. On this evidence, he was satisfied that the proposal would address a shortfall and that its scale would not result in significant overprovision. 

The inspector reasoned that car parks do not generate trips as such but provide for demand from trips generated by other uses, so the proposal would not involve any additional primary generator of traffic. He found little substantive evidence that the additional parking capacity provided by the proposal would result in a significant level of modal transference. Any additional traffic resulting from it would be small and unlikely to cause significant additional congestion on the network, he deduced.

He concluded that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network in terms of congestion would not be severe, while the development would to a degree provide supporting infrastructure for public transport users. For these reasons, he concluded that the site was a suitable location for a temporary long-stay car park and the proposal would accord with national and local policy.

Inspector: Ian Dyer; Written representations

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