Residential and Non-residential Parking Standards

Chaper 5 – Topic Policies

Section C – Transport

TRA3 Residential and Non-residential Parking Standards (2016 Draft / 2017 Main Changes)

A single approach to the provision of car parking is not appropriate for all developments coming forward across the borough during the plan period. This ‘zonal’ approach to parking standards has been part of the Council’s approach for a number of years since the Residential Parking and Design Guidance SPD (2010) was first produced.

The approach taken in this SPD has proved useful, robust and clear for all parties and has helped to deliver adequate parking spaces to support development in a way that delivers better quality places and environments which is a key aspiration of the Local Plan. The Council have revisited the standards in the SPD and revised them slightly in the ‘suburban’ and ‘rural’ areas by promoting slightly higher minimum parking standards for certain types of residential uses.

For the town centre area (as identified under policy SP4) – and within the central areas of larger developments – a more significant change is now proposed. Here the Local Plan now advocates a minimum parking standard of 1 space per residential unit. This standard takes account of local circumstances including car ownership data (and future assumptions), historic problems of insufficient parking facilities in central areas and ensures that sufficient parking spaces are delivered to support development in this location.


For non-residential development the Council has, in common with other Local Planning Authorities in Kent, relied on the advice of Kent County Council and the maximum standards contained in KCC SPG4. These standards have generally proved appropriate for this borough. However, local instances of residential areas being used as overflow car parks for adjoining employment uses are of concern.

To ensure the delivery of maximum parking provision in new non-residential developments in the borough over the Plan period, and to reduce opportunities for commercial developments to deliver fewer spaces than the maximum, Policy TRA3(b) brings forward the sets the maximum standard of SPG4 as the minimum standard for non-residential development in the borough (ie neither a maximum or a minimum). Controlled Parking Zones are also supported as an option for the Council to address specific problems with overspill commercial car parking into residential areas should these occur.

Policy TRA3 (a) – Parking Standards for Residential Development

Proposals for residential development within the town centre area identified on the Policies Map or within ‘central areas’ of larger developments shall deliver a minimum parking standard of 1 space per residential unit on average. It is expected that all of this provision should be delivered on-site.

Proposals for residential development elsewhere shall achieve the following minimum parking standards:

‘Suburban and Rural Locations’
1 Bed Flat or House 1 Space per Unit
2 Bed Flat or House 2 Spaces per Unit
3 Bed Dwelling 2 Spaces per Unit
4 Bed House 3 Spaces per Unit
‘Rural Location’
1 Bed Flat or House 1 Space per Unit
2 Bed Flat or House 2 Spaces per Unit
3 Bed Dwelling 2 Spaces per Unit
4 Bed House 3 Spaces per Unit

Parking to support residential development within the Borough shall follow the design, layout and accessibility guidance contained within the Council’s Residential Parking SPD.

Policy TRA3 (b) – Parking Standards for Non Residential Development

Proposals for non-residential developments within the Borough shall provide parking facilities to the following parking standards:


A1 Food retail up to 1,000m2

1 space per 18m2

A1 Food retail of 1,000 m2 and over

1 space per 14m2

A1 Non-food retail

1 space per 25m2

A2 use class

1 space per 20m2

A3 use class

1 space per 6m2*

A4 use class

1 space per 10m2*

A5 use class

1 space per 8m2*

B1 office use (up to 500m2)

1 space per 20m2

B1 office use (up to 2,500m2)

1 space per 25m2

B1 office use (2,500m2 and over)

1 space per 30m2

B1 High tech/ research/light industrial.

1 space per 35m2

B2 use class

1 space per 50m2

B8 Storage and distribution

1 space per 110m2

B8 Wholesale Trade

1 space per 35m2


1 space per bedroom

*These use classes are also required to deliver 1 space per 2 staff in addition to the standard set out above.

All floorspace references in this table refer to gross external floorspace.

In exceptional cases, the Council may require proposals to depart from the standards in policies TRA3 (a) or TRA3 (b) if any of the following apply:-

  • A bespoke parking standard is included as part of site specific policy within this Local Plan that seeks to take into account specific local circumstances in that area;
  • In order to take account of specific local circumstances that may require a higher or lower level of parking provision, including as a result of the development site’s accessibility to public transport, shops and services, highway safety concerns and local on-street parking problems;
  • Where an operator or potential occupier requires either more or less parking spaces to cater for their specific operational needs, such requirements can be clearly evidenced and where their presence has wider planning benefits,
  • Where the proposed use can reasonably rely on the availability of public off-street car parking spaces that are nearby;
  • To ensure the successful restoration, refurbishment and re-use of listed buildings or buildings affecting the character of a conservation area;
  • To allow the appropriate re-use of the upper floors of buildings in town centres or above shop units;
  • Should independently verified viability evidence demonstrate that achieving the minimum parking standard identified would render the scheme unviable and that there are overriding planning benefits to justify that the development should proceed.

Where appropriate, the Council will pursue the use of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) to support the wider strategy for the management of on-street parking, in line with the approach outlined in this policy.


  1. L mayes

    I live in chestnut lane. We keep having vans parking as many as 14 have been counted tonight there are 9 white vans and they go out all hours of the night.They drive up the road about 50 m.p.h. which is dangerous

    1. Bob Shrubb (Post author)

      This article is about requirements for parking provision on new developments not parking practice or driving standards.

      South Ashford Community Forum serves the unparished area of South Ashford. Chestnut Lane is in the Parish of Kingsnorth. Kingsnorth Parish Council may be able to give advice.

      Generally, there is no restriction on parking of vans on public roads, however, if the vans are operated by the same organisation the Planning office at Ashford Borough Council may be able to advise on whether this constitutes operation of a business and whether there is any permission to do so.

      With so many parked vehicles it is very unlikely that vehicles are being driven at 50mph. If they are being driven dangerously or without due consideration for other road users, report this via the online reporting form on the Kent Police website or by phoning 101, giving as much information as possible, such as vehicle registrations, addresses at which the drivers are residing and times that the vehicles typically arrive and depart.


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