No compromise in car crack-down

18 Oct 2023

We all know that we should be doing our individual bit to put the brake on climate change and undoubtedly it is the role of central and local government to lead on such matters. In this respect it seems that a London council has been proactive in coming up with planning policies aimed at reducing reliance on private vehicles and car ownership. One such policy resists vehicle crossovers that facilitate on-site parking, electric or not.

It was on the strength of this policy, a key-worker with a requirement for quick and easy access to a car was denied permission to create a vehicle crossover and vehicle parking with an electric vehicle charging point in their front garden in Camden (400-041-760). An inspector held the proposal clearly signalled the intention of the appellant to prioritise travel using a private vehicle in an area with a high PTAL rating, contrary to the policy which made an exception for disabled people but not for key workers. The concern also was that future occupiers would be incentivised to rely on car travel if parking was available.

Even while acknowledging that an electric vehicle charging point would have positive implications for air quality, the inspector concluded the proposal still failed to meet the council’s aim of reducing car ownership per se. Harsh but fair.

The topic of sustainability policies in development management practice in general is considered in DCS 4.1114. The legislation relating to formation of accesses and crossovers is addressed in 4.3136 while practice matters concerning domestic garages and accesses are found in 12.1.