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EPOA parking guidance consultation for Essex

Essex Planning Officers Association is asking for your views on parking standards for development such as housing, retail, commercial and leisure use. They are also proposing a new approach to parking in garden communities and large scale developments.

Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA) have been leading work to revise the parking standards guidance to inform new development across Essex.

Parking guidance is referred to in policy in the district Local Plans and the county's Local Transport Plan. The guidance sets parking for different vehicle types, design and location, dimensions for parking and a suggested quantum for different types of development.

About the consultation

EPOA are consulting on parking standards for development such as housing, retail, commercial and leisure uses in part 1 document which will cover from the smallest developments upwards of any type across the county.

A new approach to apply to garden communities and large scale developments is being also being consulted on.

How to respond

The consultation can be accessed on the Essex County Council consultation portal.

Respond now

The consultation closes on Monday 4 December 2023.

If you have any queries please email

The key changes

The existing guidance was approved in 2009 and therefore needs to be updated as there have been changes in planning legislation and policy, introduction of garden communities and a greater awareness on the need to manage the impact of developments on local communities and the environment.

Part 1

The main changes for Part 1 Parking Standards include:

  • updated guidance and removal of arbitrary maximum parking values
  • compliance with National Planning policy
  • improved evidence base
  • parking provision based on how accessible a location is
  • reflecting electric vehicle charging
  • update to cycle parking to align with the new national guidance

Part 2

The main features of the new Part 2 Guidance for Garden Communities and Largescale Development has a focus on outcomes including:

  • supporting sustainable growth and responding to climate change
  • delivering quality places to live
  • help to manage congestion and local impacts on existing communities close to new large developments
  • providing for a range of vehicle types and future flexibility
  • reflecting wider aims to encourage modal choice which makes better use of the local transport network

The guidance introduces a technical planning tool which will looks at the location of the development and its proximity to everyday services and allows for an assessment of the development based on location and the infrastructure and services it will need to deliver to achieve the above outcomes.

It consults on the idea of a parking budget - the quantum of parking, a greater split between off road and on road parking and flexibility on design.

What happens next

Nothing has been decided at this stage. However, EPOA are really keen to get your views on how best to take things forward to the next phase.

EPOA, the consultant and parking working group will review the comments and consider where and how to make changes.