New rules remove parking requirements from Christchurch town centre developments

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parking christchurch
Car parks will not be required in new town centre developments in Christchurch

NEW planning rules have been adopted meaning town centre developments in Christchurch no longer need to provide car parking.

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BCP Council councillors have approved a new policy document, including Bournemouth and Poole, that relaxes requirements on developers, in a bid to encourage more building in central areas, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The move was made despite concerns that it will exacerbate parking problems in some of the most congested parts of the conurbation.

The supplementary policy document (SPD) has been put together to replace three existing versions the council inherited when it was formed in 2019.

It introduces a new zonal approach to planning rules with developments in some town centre areas no longer needing to provide any car parking.

The policy also brings in a requirement for all new houses and bungalows to provide electric car charging facilities.

The parking rules were introduced following concerns developers were being dissuaded by the cost of having to provide spaces for would-be residents.

But the changes have drawn some criticism, including from planning committee member Cllr Stephen Bartlett. Speaking at last week’s full council meeting, he called on the adoption to be halted, saying it was “not policy compliant”.

He referred to the requirement in the National Planning Framework, which necessitates improvements to parking safety and quality. He also questioned how disabled people would be accommodated in these developments.

“I have been on the planning committee for six years and I have only heard complaints that the minimum parking provision is insufficient, and I have never heard anyone suggest that there should be less, or even nil, until now,” he added.

“If this SPD is adopted I believe residents will be furious when they realise the implications and negative impact this will have for them.”

Concerns were also raised that public transport was not good enough to replace cars.

But BCP Council’s cabinet member for transport, Cllr Mike Greene, said similar rules used elsewhere had worked.

“We are not the first place in the country to be doing this,” he said. “This is widespread and is effective.

“There are many people who would like to buy a property at a cheaper price and accept that they will not be having a car.”

He said this policy would increase the number of people using public transport, providing a “captive audience” to bus companies making more routes viable.

A vote to adopt the new document was supported by 53 votes to eight.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Most people have cars so building houses with no parking is some what strange
    .Perhaps the reason electric cars come with a cost every house would have to offer this if the bcp want to contribute to climate change.
    Seems to me the bcp wants to control people of a certain money cap.
    Brown envelopes must be changing hands again .
    Christchurch wants affordable housing with car parking … I’m not going to ride a bike 13 miles to work buses infrequent. The council most of you have no idea blind to people who are normal with large pay packets you will only ever be for yourself ….

    • I couldn’t agree more. No parking means those streets nearby, which are already busy by the way, will clog up yet more but the roads the. Councillors live on will of course have double yellows so it’s not in their back yard.

      Quite.simply idiots

  2. The portfolio officer for transport suggested that the “no parking space” initiative is to encourage a different type of resident to purchase homes in the area. He indicated that by building homes without spaces would encourage home owners that don’t own cars. Later in the meeting the portfolio officer for transport suggested that the prospective owners of such homes should be restricted from owning vehicles. This would prevent them parking on local roads.

    It seems that the priority for transport in BCP is pro bikes ( and now scooters) at the detriment of cars busses and lorries.

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