Development Management DPD - Revised Proposed Submission

Ended on the 16 May 2014
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>Section 8: Sustainable Transport Management


Policy DM15 – Sustainable Transport Management

8.1 Sustainable Transport in Southend plays a key role in supporting economic growth, reducing carbon emissions, promoting equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life and health. Sustainable transport management will provide a number of benefits that contribute towards sustainable development such as:

  • Reducing emissions, improving local air quality and counteracting the effects of climate change;
  • Improving health through better air quality and making walking and cycling an attractive and viable alternative to the use of private motor vehicles;
  • Helping equitable access to services for all, not putting those who cannot or do not own a car at a disadvantage; and
  • Reducing congestion on the road from car travel, which can have benefits for the economy.

Transport Choices

8.2 The Southend-on-Sea Local Transport Plan (LTP) in line with national transport policy seeks to reduce the need to travel, particularly by car, and to broaden the number travel options available. Consequently development should be located in areas which are sustainable, or areas which it can be demonstrated can be made sustainable, and accessible by non-car modes and which reduce the overall need to travel.

8.3 Development provides opportunities to make significant improvements to the road network for public transport, which aids the provision of suitable and sustainable alternatives to car based travel. The availability of safe, coherent, legible and easy to use footpaths and cycle routes as well as good public transport information, high quality facilities and an environment free from street clutter, can have a significant impact on people’s choice of transport. The Council’s Streetscape Manual SPD provides guidance on the use of street furniture and materials and opportunities for minimising clutter and merging functions.

8.4 Developments should also facilitate opportunities for people to use public transport both for local journeys and to access the wider public transport network as a viable and practical alternative to private transport. Through the Evalu8 ‘Plugged in Places’ project, the Council has seen a number of electric vehicle charging points installed in the Borough and, where practical, the incorporation of facilities for charging electric vehicles and other ultra-low emission vehicles into a development to enhance opportunities for other sustainable transport options will be encouraged.

8.5 Developments that will generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment. This could include: information on what opportunities for sustainable transport modes have been taken, dependent on location, to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure; how safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all; how improvements can be undertaken to the existing transport network that limit the significant impacts of the development cost-effectively.

Smarter Choice Measures

8.6 The Southend-on-Sea LTP seeks to tackle congestion by placing greater emphasis on travel plans and by the incorporation of other 'smarter choice' measures. ‘Smarter choices’ are techniques for influencing people's travel behaviour towards more sustainable alternatives such as encouraging school, workplace and individualised travel planning. They also seek to improve public transport and marketing services such as travel awareness campaigns, supporting car clubs and encouraging flexible working. Applicants will need to agree appropriate ‘smarter choice’ measures with the Council prior to a planning application submission. A travel plan and arrangements for its monitoring will be required for any proposal where the Council considers it necessary, based on the potential individual or cumulative impact of the proposal in the area.

Parking

8.7 As Policy DM3 sets out, Southend is a densely populated Borough, and the demand for travel in Southend is expected to continually increase as a result of the regeneration proposals programmed within the town and as a result of changing lifestyle choices. Managing car parking space provision can actively encourage more sustainable choices to be made in respect to the need to travel and the choice of mode.

8.8 The Parking Review 2014 Addendum highlights that although maximum parking standards in residential areas has restricted the amount of parking available, the ownership of cars has not reduced and consequently, in some cases, developments have contributed to a number of localised parking pressures. Therefore, the parking standards as set out by Appendix 6 no longer apply maximum standards to residential (‘tip-origin’) development.

8.9 Due to the interrelationship between Southend and its neighbouring districts both in terms of travel to work patterns and shopping and leisure trips, it is considered important that a consistent approach to vehicle parking standards is adopted across the sub region that reflects local circumstances. The EPOA Parking Standards 2009 provide the basis for the Council’s approach to setting local parking standards, including cycle parking provision, for Southend, as set out in Appendix 6. Applying the EPOA Parking Standards, where appropriate, will enable the Council to provide clarity and certainty for developers and residents within the Borough. This is supplemented by Policy DM1 and the Design and Townscape Guide SPD, which provides further guidance in respect to the design and layout of parking areas and cycle parking facilities, and the consideration of context.

8.10 The Southend LTP seeks to promote sustainable travel options, focussing initially on journeys to the town centre, and linking reductions in on-street parking provision to the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling. The Council considers, in accordance with guidance contained within the EPOA Parking Standards 2009, that it is appropriate to set a lower provision of vehicle parking standards in the Central Area (Appendix 6). This recognises that town centres have good public transport options and have services and facilities within walking distance making sustainable travel choices a realistic alternative for many people without compromising its vitality.

8.11 As such, parking standards will be applied to residential developments (‘trip origins’) to ensure that a sufficient level of parking is provided within new development. However, these parking standards (Appendix 6: Table A5(2)) may be applied flexibly in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that residential development is proposed in a sustainable location with frequent and extensive links to public transport, particularly within the Central Area, and where the rigid application of these standards would have a detrimental impact on local character and context.

8.12 Garages are often an important feature of a residential development and are multi-functional in that they are used for both car parking and general storage. As cited in Policy DM8 appropriate storage space is an important component of modern living and sustainable development. Garages therefore need to be large enough to accommodate a modern, family sized car and some storage. Garages that have an internal dimension below 7.0m x 3.0m will not be considered or counted as a parking space.

(3) Policy DM15 – Sustainable Transport Management

1. Development will be allowed where there is, or it can be demonstrated that there will be, physical and environmental capacity to accommodate the type and amount of traffic generated in a safe and sustainable manner. For developments that generate significant amounts of movement, a supporting Transport Statement or Transport Assessment should be provided.

2. Access to the proposed development and any traffic generated must not unreasonably harm the surroundings, including the amenity of neighbouring properties and/or the public rights of way.

3. To prioritise and promote viable alternatives to private vehicle use development proposals must:

  1. Prioritise the needs of pedestrians, including disabled persons and those with impaired mobility and cyclists, including safe, secure and covered on-site cycle parking and where appropriate changing facilities, creating safe and secure layouts that minimise conflicts with traffic and avoid street clutter and barriers to movement;

And must incorporate provision for:

  1. High quality public transport facilities, through measures that reduce dependency on private vehicles; and
  2. Servicing and emergency vehicles.

The provision of facilities for charging electric vehicles and other ultra-low emission vehicles will be encouraged wherever practical and feasible.

4. All major development must incorporate and include appropriate ‘smarter choice’ measures such as Travel Plans (Personal, Workplace and School), car clubs, car sharing and pooling, real-time public transport information and marketing and communication materials and welcome packs. All other development should seek to include such measures where site specific circumstances allow.

5. All development should meet the parking standards (including cycle parking) set out in Appendix 5. Residential vehicle parking standards may be applied flexibly in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the development is proposed in a sustainable location with frequent and extensive links to public transport.

Reliance upon on-street parking will only be considered appropriate where it can be demonstrated by the applicant that there is on-street parking capacity.

The parking standards in Appendix 5 will be kept under review.

Core Strategy Linkage:
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 3 KP1: Spatial Strategy
Strategic Objective 9 KP2: Development Principles
Strategic Objective 10 CP3: Transport and Accessibility
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