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Car Free Information

SUMMARY

I made a freedom of information request (reference number 10712709) on 12 April 2022 in an attempt to gauge whether Brighton and Hove City Council's commitment to Sustainable Transport had strengthened or weakened since their new approach to securing car-free development was introduced.

I learned that since the introduction there have been no additions to BHCC's list of Car free roads and properties in our city. BHCC told me in their response that the date of introduction was as recent as 2nd January 2022.

However, there is evidence in planning documents (e.g. BH2021/02065:  Transport Planning posted 5th July 2021 and Officer's Report posted 17th September 2021) that the practice of attaching car-free conditions to planning decisions was ended in July 2021 or earlier in 2021.  This means that more time has passed without any amendments to Traffic Regulation Orders to secure new car-free developments.

STOP PRESS 16th May 2022

Comment by Cllr Pete West: The broader question, is how will tracking the need for car-free TROs be managed? I’m wondering if Charles might answer this please?

Reply from Charles Field: Transport and Parking officers are putting together a policy regarding Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s) for car free developments which will be presented to members of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee in September to agree the way forward.

_____________________________

Thank you for your request for information to Brighton & Hove City Council (‘the council’) that was received on 12 April 2022. We have now processed your request and our response is below.

Your request:
I understand that the process you have now introduced for securing car free development no longer involves attaching negatively-worded conditions to planning consents. Instead, a request that a development is 'car-free' goes directly from Highways Officers to Parking Officers, without the need for further involvement from either the developer or planning officers. When did this new system take effect and how many entries have been added to BHCC's list of Car free roads and properties in Brighton and Hove under the new system?

Our response:
In processing your request we liaised with colleagues within Planning and Transport as they would hold the information in relation to your request were this information to be held by the council.

Response: The approach to 'car free' development that is now being used by Planning Officers on behalf of the council as the Local Planning Authority has been in place since 2 January 2022. Since then, no amendments have been made by the council as the Local Highway Authority to Traffic Regulation Orders relating to development proposals which are considered should be 'car free'.

Comment

The content of planning documents would suggest that the new approach to car free development was introduced somewhat earlier.

See Transport Planning BH2021/02065 7 Richmond Road Brighton BN2 3RL Erection of 1no single storey, two bedroom dwelling (C3) to the rear with associated works posted 5th July 2021 at https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QU2QERDMI8D00

"We are unable to recommend approval of this application subject to the following further information being provided, prior to determination to comply with policy TR7 and SPD14:

  • Car Parking No car parking is provided for the new dwelling and this is likely to result in overspill parking on the highway. The site is located within CPZ J. In lieu of a parking survey provided by the applicant, the Highway Authority utilises permit uptake data to assess parking occupancy levels within CPZs. Given the potential variance in uptake across a CPZ, where permit uptake is over 80% over the previous 12 months data available (or less should a CPZ have been implemented more recently), no additional vehicles are permitted without a supporting parking survey. Permit uptake within Zone J averages at 90%. Therefore, it is recommended that the development be made car free and that this is secured by condition. However, it is understood that the LPA does not deem such a condition to be appropriate. We would therefore require an analysis of the likely parking that the site would generate and parking surveys undertaken, in line with the Lambeth Methodology, demonstrating that there is adequate capacity and not significant parking stress in the area."

See also Officer's Report on BH2021/02065 7 Richmond Road Brighton BN2 3RL Erection of 1no single storey, two bedroom dwelling (C3) to the rear with associated works posted 17th September 2021 at https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QU2QERDMI8D00 page 5 (Unnumbered pages).

Sustainable Transport: Objection

No car parking is provided for the new dwelling and this is likely to result in overspill parking on the highway. The site is located within CPZ J. In lieu of a parking survey provided by the applicant, the Highway Authority utilises permit uptake data to assess parking occupancy levels within CPZs. Permit uptake within Zone J averages at 90%. Therefore, it is recommended that the development be made car free and that this is secured by condition. However, it is understood that the LPA does not deem such a condition to be appropriate. We would therefore require an analysis of the likely parking that the site would generate and parking surveys undertaken, in line with the Lambeth Methodology, demonstrating that there is adequate capacity and not significant parking stress in the area.

The proposed additional dwelling is unlikely to generate a significant enough increase in trips to the site to warrant a reason for refusal.

See also page 10 of the same Officer's Report (unnumbered pages) where there is part duplication:

Sustainable Transport: There is no onsite parking provision for this application. The site is located within a CPZ. However, it is not considered appropriate to impose the car-free condition requested by the LHA because parking in the local area and limiting the issue of parking permits is already covered through the management of the Controlled Parking Zone. The applicant is proposing two cycle parking spaces in a store. This would be secured by condition if the application was otherwise acceptable. The proposed additional dwelling is unlikely to generate a significant enough increase in trips to the site to warrant a reason for refusal.

Note that this second entry under the same heading "Sustainable Transport" does not mention the requirement of an analysis of the likely parking that the site would generate and parking surveys undertaken, in line with the Lambeth Methodology, demonstrating that there is adequate capacity and not significant parking stress in the area. This requirement remains present in Supplementary Planning Document SPD14 Parking Standards - the main policy responsible for delivering car-free development.

Finally, see Superseded Planning Statement submitted 13th December 2021 for BH2021/04390 | Variation of condition 12 of application BH2018/00433 28A Crescent Road at https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=R41YBQDMKF500

1.8 It was also stated (Appendix 1):
‘In the intervening period, the planning department have reviewed the car free/permit restriction approach and earlier this year we stopped attaching the conditions to decisions. This is part due to the fact that the transport / parking team can separately to the planning application process require a development to be car free i.e. the occupiers are not eligible to a parking permit.

This paragraph dates the end of the practice of attaching car-free conditions to planning decisions as earlier (than 13 Dec) in 2021.

Appendix 1 was missing from the planning statement and therefore not open to public viewing of the planning application.

This page was last updated by Ted on 17-May-2022
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