Public Parking Facilities Serving The Town Centre

Chaper 5 – Topic Policies

Section C – Transport

TRA2 Public Parking Facilities Serving The Town Centre (2016 Draft / 2017 Main Changes)

The Parking Study (pdf 2MB) that supports this Local Plan set out the need for new town centre parking to partly replace existing car parks and partly to cater for additional demand from new development (some of which relates to development that is subject to extant planning approval). It also explored the merits of a Park and Ride Facility on the outskirts of the town.

The Study highlighted that that the town centre currently has enough vacant car parking spaces to cater for current and future demand. However, this position was caveated in that not all of these spaces are truly available in practice as many were located on the periphery of the town centre in relatively inaccessible locations and therefore it is questionable how attractive these spaces are for short stay users.

In light of the above, the Study recognised that a flexible approach to parking was needed, one which can best respond to development as it comes forward in a way that caters for both the needs of long stay and short stay users.

Elwick Place

Elwick Place will become a significant new retail and leisure destination in the Town Centre through the delivery of a new multi-screen cinema and hotel and a number of new restaurants. A new public car park that will provide for an additional 280 car parking spaces will also be delivered. Not only will this car park cater for the retail and leisure development at Elwick Place, it will also become a key facility that supports growth in the wider town centre and also provide flexibility in the parking stock.

Multi Storey Car Parks

MSCP provision is still seen as an important component of meeting parking needs in the longer term to respond to development coming forward. Although not allocated in this Local Plan, land at Victoria Road close to the pedestrian bridge over the railway lines remains a suitable and practical location for such a facility given its excellent accessibility to the core of the town centre area. Discussions are ongoing with the developers here for such provision to be secured. In addition, policy S1 of this Local Plan identifies land within the Commercial Quarter for the delivery of a new MSCP (of around 400 – 600 spaces), on land largely owned by the Council.

Park and Ride

The Council retains the view considers that Park and Ride is an important component of its longer term parking strategy, particularly to support new office development in the town centre. In light of this, a Park and Ride facility is safeguarded at Chilmington Green through the Chilmington Green Area Action Plan (not superseded by this Local Plan) and at the Warren, and will continue to be reserved until it is decided that the facility is no longer required.

In the medium to longer term, it is anticipated that the new office sector in the town centre will thrive and in doing so become a less risky and more desirable investment for the market. In such circumstances, the values secured through the delivery of office accommodation in the town centre will rise substantially and this will result in Park and Ride becoming a more desirable and cost effective option of securing parking space to support new development. In turn this will drive demand and patronage that would financially underpin the operation of a Park & Ride service.

Policy TRA2 – Strategic Public Parking Facilities

The Council will prioritise the delivery of two new multi-storey public car parks, one of which will have an indicative capacity of 300 spaces, and at the other with an indicative capacity of 400 – 600 spaces four strategic public parking facilities by 2030 in the form of:

two multi-storey car parks, at Victoria Road (indicative capacity 300 spaces) and at the Commercial Quarter (indicative capacity 400 – 600 spaces); and,
two Park and Ride facilities at Chilmington Green and at the Warren (indicative capacity 800 spaces).
Proposals which would prejudice the ability to deliver these facilities on a viable basis will be refused unless it has been agreed with the Borough Council that the facility is either no longer required or the alternative provision of the same amount of parking spaces can be delivered in a suitable location.

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