Councillors to discuss borough parking needs

One of Havant Borough Council's largest sites pencilled for development, Forty Acres Farm in Bedhampton
One of Havant Borough Council's largest sites pencilled for development, Forty Acres Farm in Bedhampton

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COUNCILLORS are set to engage in a debate about the levels of parking provided alongside new housing developments.

Representatives at Havant Borough Council will consider increasing the minimum number of spaces it recommends for new builds at the next meeting of its scrutiny board.

It comes after the issue was raised and passed unanimously as a motion at the authority’s most recent full council meeting.

Purbrook councillor Gary Hughes brought the matter forward, citing the need to adapt the council’s 2016 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – which adopts recommendations set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to determine the borough’s own parking allocation.

He said: ‘London has a multitude of public transport options – yet it is bound by the same NPPF as Havant.

‘According to the 2011 Census, 46 per cent of households in London did not own a car – the figure for Havant is 21 per cent.

‘Whether we like it or not, the residents of our borough have an above average dependency on motor vehicles.

‘If we don’t make suitable provision for parking in new developments, there will be more congestion in our existing residential streets, increasing the risk to road safety and creating tensions with the community.

‘I am grateful my fellow members supported the motion unanimously.’

The debate is pencilled in after a number of recently-proposed borough developments pledged to provide far fewer parking spaces than properties.

This includes one retirement complex and a care home – in Waterlooville and Bedhampton – which will collectively provide 14 parking spaces for their 92 bedrooms.

While he says he is happy members are set to debate the issue, Havant Borough Council’s cabinet lead for planning, David Guest, says there could be repercussions if more spaces are allocated fo future developments.

He said: ‘As a borough council, we have a goal to meet the assessed housing need set out in our local plan.

‘If we provide more parking, we will have to provide less housing. What I am keen to do is make sure council members look at all the consequences of any change – whether that means keeping the existing SPD or if it needs to be modified.’