Planning Portal

PPS 3: Access, Movement and Parking
Policy AMP 10

0v Policy AMP 10 Provision of Public and Private Car Parks
Planning permission will only be granted for the development or extension of public or private car parks, including park and ride and park and share where it is demonstrated that:
  • they do not significantly contribute to an increase in congestion;
  • are not detrimental to local environmental quality;
  • they meet a need identified by the Department for Regional Development in Transport Plans or accepted by DRD following robust analysis provided by a developer;
  • within defined areas of parking restraint they are only used for short-stay parking and are appropriately managed to deter long stay commuter parking; and
  • they are compatible with adjoining land uses.

Justification and Amplification

5.69 It is recognised that the provision of adequate public parking facilities can act as a stimulant to economic development whilst having environmental and safety benefits in locations such as town and city centres which generate a considerable demand. Public car parking facilities normally comprise:
  • On-street car parking controlled by the DRD;
  • Public car parks operated by the DRD; and
  • Public car parks operated by the private sector including temporary car parks on sites awaiting redevelopment (these include long and short-stay parking and the leasing of contract spaces).
5.70 Of critical importance to the supply of public car parking facilities is the type of parking to be provided. Within town and city centres in particular it is essential that sufficient short-stay public parking facilities are available to maintain economic vitality and viability and to allow them to compete with new out-of-centre developments. An ever-increasing supply of car parking spaces solely serving long-stay commuter demand in such locations on the other hand can act as an impediment to economic growth by contributing to increased congestion and the erosion of environmental quality.
5.71 Accordingly the Department considers that public parking provision in future should focus on meeting the demand generated by centres for short-stay spaces. However the overall transportation objective will nevertheless be to restrain the use of the car and encourage shoppers and commuters to use public transport and Park and Ride initiatives.
5.72 The development and operation of public car parks by the private sector, including multi-storey provision and temporary car parks should seek to complement existing parking provision and the Department’s approach to meeting short-stay needs. In locations where a proposal is considered acceptable, the Department will require developers to enter into a Planning Agreement under Article 40 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 to control the use of parking spaces in order to deter long-stay commuter parking. This will normally include restrictions on the leasing of contract spaces.

Park and Ride / Park and Share

5.73 The Department will promote the development of Park and Ride and Park and Share facilities in appropriate locations where these will reduce the number of cars entering central urban areas and promote the use of public transport.
5.74 Government Transportation Policy places greater emphasis on alternatives to the private car and on more effective use of motorised transport. Promotion of park and share to increase the occupancy of cars entering urban areas can contribute to a reduction in traffic. Where clear benefits can be identified the Department will promote the creation of park and share sites.
5.75 The establishment of Park and Ride sites and associated services will also be an important contribution to integrated transport. Such schemes seek to persuade car users to change to public transport (bus or train) for the final part of their journey to major urban centres thereby reducing the level of congestion and pollution in the centre. They should also contribute to the economic viability of the centre by avoiding the use of land at the centre for car parking which, for economic and environmental reasons, would be better put to other purposes.
5.76 Park and Share should normally be sited at key junctions on the motorway and trunk road network. Park and Ride sites should preferably be located within settlements. Ideal locations are public transport interchanges. It is recognised however that there may be occasions where a countryside / green belt location may be needed for such development and this may be appropriate provided that all the following are met:
  • a comprehensive assessment of potential sites, to meet the identified need, has been carried out. This should include both non-green belt and, if appropriate, other green belt locations;
  • the assessment establishes that the proposed green belt site is a sustainable option taking account of all relevant factors including travel impacts;
  • the scheme will not seriously compromise the purposes of including land in the green belt;
  • the proposal is contained within the local transport plan or based on a thorough assessment of travel impacts; and
  • any buildings forming part of the development proposal are essential to the operation of the park and ride/share scheme.
The layout, design and landscaping of Park and Ride and Park and Share sites is particularly important in rural locations (see also Policy AMP 9 Design of Car Parks). Provision of facilities, such as floodlighting, which are generally considered essential to the safe operation of such sites, will need careful design to ensure that they are not visually intrusive.
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