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12. Is the car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?

A mixture of soft and hard landscaping in Waterstone Park

PPS 3 (housing): Local planning authorities should consider if a development: ‘Takes a design-led approach to the provision of car-parking space, that is well-integrated with a high quality public realm.’

Car parking is one of the most difficult challenges in housing design. Discussions between planning authorities and developers should be influenced by a realistic assessment of likely patterns of car use as well as alternative options for parking. In many cases, a mix of parking will achieve the best results.

At roughly 30 to 50 dwellings per hectare, limiting parking squares and courtyards to 10 spaces will help avoid visual dominance. On-street parking can bring activity to the street and have a traffic-calming effect. Car parking should be designed into the scheme, making sure that the fronts of properties are not dominated by cars, and that there is a good relationship between houses and the street.

In denser developments, experience suggests that where commercial viability and conditions allow, on-street parking combined with well-managed below-building parking provides the most satisfactory solution. Where possible, below-building parking should be efficiently designed to free up more space for attractive streets and more shared public areas. Any development should avoid large areas of unsupervised garage court parking.

Watch our video explanation

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The 20 Criteria

Environment & community
Character
Streets, parking & pedestrianisation
Design & construction
Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?

Further reading

  • Better places to live: a companion guide to PPG 3 (DT LR and CABE, 2001); Chapter 5, pp55 to 58
  • Safer places, the planning system and crime prevention (ODPM and Home Office); p27