Guidance on Parking at New Developments
 Transport Development Control
 March 2024


Guidance for Parking at New Developments



1       Introduction

2       Background and Policy Content

3       The Optimum Approach for East Sussex

4       General Principles

   a) Accommodating Parking Demand

   b) Design and layout

   c) Accessible Parking for Disabled People

   d) Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

   e) Cycle Parking

   f) Powered Two-Wheeler Parking

5       Local Characteristics and Other Considerations

6       Guidance for Residential Development

7       Guidance for Non-Residential Development

8       Car Parking Capacity Surveys




A          The Calculation Tool for Parking at Residential Development


B          Parking Guidelines for Non-residential Development








1     Introduction


Parking is an important part of our transport network for both private vehicles and bicycles. Being able to travel easily to key locations is a fundamental part of our society and quality of life, and for many of our journeys, this requires parking.  The key is to achieve a balance of parking which supports travel choices across a variety of modes.


The provision of the optimum amount and type of parking is key in helping to deliver successful and sustainable developments. The County Council, in its role as the Local Highway Authority, is a statutory consultee on planning applications that affect the highway and have wider transportation impacts. In addition, the County Council is also consulted during the preparation of Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans.


This guidance document outlines the County Council’s approach to parking at new developments (both residential and non-residential). It should be used by site promoters to help determine the level of parking at new developments and it provides the basis for the County Council’s evidence-based advice to the Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in East Sussex on planning applications and the soundness of policies relating to parking. 


ESCC’s guidance considers parking for all types of vehicles and seeks to balance the need to provide an appropriate parking provision, ensure the safe operation of the public highway and encourage travel by sustainable modes.  In this regard, as a demand management tool, the availability of spaces and pricing can help to incentivise alternative journey options.


2021 Census data has been used to understand local levels of car ownership and informs this updated guidance and the accompanying Parking Calculator to be used for residential development proposals. Detail on parking space dimensions and advice of carrying out on-street parking surveys has also been included.


This guidance represents a starting point for engagement with the Highway Authority on parking and layout matters.  It also offers a flexible and pragmatic approach to defining optimum levels of car parking provision that can be informed by site-specific considerations. The County Council may use this guidance to raise objections to proposals regarding parking particularly if there is a shortfall that might lead to danger on the adjoining highway or there is an over-provision that does not meet the requirements of sustainable development.


This document replaces the County Council’s previous guidance: ‘Guidance for Parking at Non-Residential Development’ (2012) and ‘Guidance for Parking at New Residential Developments’ (2017).










2     Background and Policy Context


Whilst the use of parking standards or guidance is not new, the approach to parking at local and national levels has changed considerably over time. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the concept of maximum parking standards was applied with the aim of significantly lowering levels of off-street parking as a means of reducing car use. However, the Government concluded that the application of maximum standards directly resulted in an increased level of on-street parking consequently causing congestion and potential hazards for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.


While the emphasis remains on highway authorities to set parking standards or guidance for their areas, it is recognised that instead of simply applying a maximum standard due consideration should be given to local circumstances, accessibility and local car ownership levels.  The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2023 echoes these sentiments:


Para 107. If setting local parking standards for residential and non-residential development, policies should take into account:

a) the accessibility of the development;

b) the type, mix and use of development;           

c) the availability of and opportunities for public transport;

d) local car ownership levels; and

e) the need to ensure an adequate provision of spaces for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles.


Para 108. Maximum parking standards for residential and non-residential development should only be set where there is a clear and compelling justification that they are necessary for managing the local road network, or for optimising the density of development in city and town centres and other locations that are well served by public transport. In town centres, local authorities should seek to improve the quality of parking so that it is convenient, safe and secure, alongside measures to promote accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.


In addition to the NPPF, the National Design Guide (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2021) highlights the importance of well-considered and designed provision of car and cycle parking and the relationship with the built environment.


Manual for Streets (DfT, 2007) provides guidance for practitioners involved in the planning, design, provision and approval of new streets, and modifications to existing ones. In relation to parking, it provides a wide range of design guidance and recommended approaches to the arrangement of car, cycle and motorcycle parking, predominantly in relation to residential development.


This guidance aligns with the current approach to parking. It should, however, be recognised that travel patterns, car ownership and transport technologies are evolving. As such, parking design guidance may need to be applied flexibly as circumstances change.





3  The Optimum Approach for East Sussex


Parking is important at home, work and other destinations.  Demand is affected by the availability of parking, its cost and the opportunities for travel by other modes.  Optimum parking for each location is different in nature and there is a need to develop an approach for parking which takes into account a variety of factors and can be applied flexibly where appropriate.


Parking provision should be sufficient to accommodate an agreed level of parking demand whilst exploiting the potential for sustainable travel and minimising adverse effects on highway safety.  Measures can also be taken that would influence travel behaviour towards more sustainable travel models with resulting reductions in carbon emissions and improvements in air quality.   This may be achieved through demand management (parking design, controlled / paid for provision and enforcement) or through the use of new and emerging technology that would help to support multi-modal travel options.


The Council’s approach is to seek to balance the number of spaces, providing an appropriate level and type of parking to support the needs of businesses and residents whilst taking into account the characteristics of the location within the County.  East Sussex consists of three Districts (Lewes, Rother and Wealden) and two Boroughs (Eastbourne and Hastings).  While the two Boroughs could be classed as urban, the three Districts are predominantly rural with urban settlements located throughout.  Parts of Lewes, Wealden and Eastbourne form part of the South Downs National Park and the Park Authority has published a Parking Supplementary Planning Document that covers these areas.  ESCC is also a Planning Authority in its own right for minerals, waste and the County Council’s own development proposals (education, libraries and some highway schemes). 


The advice specified in the National Planning Policy Framework needs to be carefully considered for each individual Local Authority. Census data is considered appropriate as a starting point for estimating levels of car ownership. 2021 data showed that in East Sussex, average car ownership is higher than the national average but lower than the average for the South East region.


The review of Census data has shown that car ownership levels in East Sussex were influenced by dwelling size, type and tenure and that different levels of car ownership were apparent in each of the districts and boroughs.  Unsurprisingly, houses have higher car ownership than flats and, generally, car ownership increases with the size of units.  Car ownership is also higher for owner occupied compared to shared ownership; rented and living rent free (‘other’).   The figures in the parking calculator have been updated to reflect these findings.


















4      General Principles


The following general principles set out the County Council’s recommended approach to parking related to both residential and non-residential developments. This overarching guidance should be used to inform all stages of the design of new developments. Unless clearly specified, these principles will apply to both residential and non-residential developments.


4a) Accommodating Parking Demand


Inappropriate provision of parking can have an adverse effect on residential roads and neighbouring areas which can result in obstruction for emergency and service vehicles, pavement parking, the blocking of driveways and damage to soft landscaping and footways. Under-utilised on-site parking areas and congested on-street parking would indicate that the parking strategy was not effective. Therefore, parking provision should be sufficient to accommodate parking demand whilst also minimising adverse effects on road safety. 


Manual for Streets and the guidance notes for the National Design Code suggest that a combination of both allocated and unallocated parking can often be the most appropriate parking solution.


Expected levels of parking demand in residential developments will be determined by taking account of location, dwelling size, type of parking provision and any arrangements for control / enforcement. Local considerations to be taken into account are covered in more detail in section 5. 


Further detail relating to parking provision for residential development is set out in section 6 and within Appendix A which sets out guidance on the use of the parking calculator.  The provision of parking at non-residential development will normally be based on the proposed use and the trip rate associated with the development. Further detail relating to parking provision for non-residential development is set out in section 7 and within Appendix B which sets the parking guidelines by land-use.


When submitting proposals for developments, applicants will be expected to provide a schedule of parking provision, detailing the number of allocated and unallocated spaces, including garages and EV charging facilities. The planning application should include an explanation of how the provision will meet the needs of the development.


If parking is expected to take place in existing streets, then it will be necessary to demonstrate that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the expected parking demand or that any shortfall can be safely mitigated. A parking capacity survey can be undertaken to make this assessment (see section 8).


To reduce pressure on on-street parking the provision of Car Clubs in appropriate locations will be supported. This will tend to apply to major developments in locations with have good options for public transport and active travel modes.


Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) are currently in place within certain areas in the following locations within the County: Battle; Bexhill; Eastbourne; Hastings; Lewes / Falmer; and Rye.   The use of CPZs makes it easier for residents, visitors and shoppers to park their vehicles and, through enforcement, they can also help to improve road safety, remove obstructions and stop indiscriminate parking.  In these areas, permits are required to park on-street during certain hours (further information can be found on the ESCC website).





The County Council does monitor the number of permits issued within each CPZ and operates a permit ratio scheme with the maximum being 1.5 permits for each bay.  Once this has been reached no more permits are issued and a waiting list is introduced.  For new development, a permit may not be issued if the address is part of a large development (residential and non-residential) with off street parking in a parking zone.  It should also be noted that, in some circumstances, parking permits will not be issued to residents of specific properties. These are generally dwellings with no, or limited, off street parking where ESCC has advised the planning authorities that should planning permission be granted for those dwellings no or restricted permits will be issued.





4b) Design and Layout


Determining the appropriate level of overall provision will help establish whether the optimum number of parking spaces can be provided. However, the type of spaces being provided (i.e. location, design, control and management) greatly influences the effectiveness of provision.  Poor layout can lead to problems that can be detrimental to pedestrian and road safety such as parking on footways and in turning areas. Getting the parking layout right results in a well-functioning development and a better place to live and work.


Developments must be designed around people not the car.  The design and layout of the proposed parking provision will be dictated by the size and location of the development. Parking provision should not be detrimental to road safety and should not create additional pressure on existing streets that cannot be mitigated. Developments should provide balanced and mixed parking provision and ensure that all spaces are useable without creating highway safety issues. The approach should be flexible and, where appropriate, should balance between on-street and on-plot provision.


Parking design must consider how parking spaces will be used in practice. Parking spaces which are not well designed, secure and convenient will not be used as intended.  Developers are advised that while it is acknowledged that car parking layouts should be designed to make the most efficient use of available land, due consideration should be given to the likely vehicle manoeuvres associated with the chosen design. 


Parking areas should be designed as part of the public realm with appropriate planting and soft landscaping to break up the extent of the parking area where appropriate.  Parking should not be hidden but equally should not dominate the street scene / site.


Design for new parking spaces should take into account the principles of flood avoidance and sufficient consideration needs to be given regarding provision of drainage.  As part of the drainage strategy for the development new parking areas should adopt sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to minimise the risk of flooding in the County. This should conform to the SuDS Hierarchy, as follows:


a)  discharge into the ground (infiltration);

b)  controlled discharge to a surface water body;

c)  controlled discharge to a surface water sewer.


Consideration needs to be given to the long-term management and maintenance of the drainage infrastructure.  In this respect, we strongly recommend early engagement with the County Council’s Flood Risk Management team as agreeing a drainage strategy will have wider implications for the layout and design of parking areas.


To ensure that parking provision is of a high-quality design and secure the approach should reflect best practice as set out in national guidance and best practice such as ‘Manual for Streets’.


On-Street Parking


The general presumption for new development is that sufficient off-street parking should be provided in accordance with this guidance and reliance should not be made of on-street parking unless it has been appropriately designed from the start and informed by parking capacity surveys (see section 8).


Where a development parking layout is incorporating on-street parking or general on-street parking is to be relied upon, the street must be wide enough to accommodate parking without compromising pedestrian movements or access by emergency/waste collection vehicles.  In addition, the proposed layout must not impair visibility at junctions or on bends. The street must be wide enough to accommodate two lanes of traffic and the on-street parking space/layby. The use of delineated parking bays using different materials and texture of road surfacing can add to the overall design of the new housing.


The layout of on-street parking must comply with ‘Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (2016)’ and, where reasonably practicable, accommodate changes for accessible lifestyle changes. All parking spaces need to be accessed from a footway/hard surfaced area.


Parking Space Dimensions


To ensure that the level of parking for a given development functions as intended, it is essential that parking spaces are large enough to accommodate vehicles. The dimensions set out below take into account the increased size of many modern cars.


Each car parking space should have the minimum dimensions set out below. Any space that does not meet these dimensions will not count towards the overall parking provision.


•           Parking Space – 5m x 2.5m

(a minimum additional 0.5m will need to be added to either or both dimensions where the space is adjacent to a wall(s), hedge(s) or fence(s). Spaces in front of garages must be a minimum of 6m long to maintain garage access)


•           Disabled Parking Space – 5m x 3.6m


•           Car Ports – 5m x 2.8m


If on-street parking is considered (parallel to the kerb) then spaces will need to be longer (usually 6m).  Any parking proposal should show that sufficient space has been designed for convenient vehicle circulation and parking.  This is best demonstrated by the use of swept path analysis. 


Tandem Parking


Tandem parking is where one car parking space is located behind another. This arrangement is unlikely to be utilised to its potential, especially if both cars are in regular use.  Whilst independently accessible on-plot parking is preferred, where it is necessary to provide tandem arrangements (e.g. higher density schemes), the use of garages should be avoided. Where tandem parking is used there may be a requirement for additional parking provision within the layout. Tandem parking arrangements are not appropriate on spine roads and may lead to inappropriate and obstructive parking on the carriageway, footpaths and close to junctions.


Echelon Parking


The design and layout will also be determined depending on whether there is likely to be a single flow or two-way flow of vehicles. While perpendicular parking represents the most efficient land use for two-way vehicle flows, it is evident that echelon parking can offer a realistic alternative and has significant manoeuvrability benefits.





4c) Accessible Parking for Disabled People


It is important that adequate parking provision for people with impaired or limited mobility is provided in convenient locations and clearly signed. Provision of accessible parking bays for disabled people should be considered during the design stage and spaces should be of sufficient size, accessible, easy to use and located as close as possible to the main entrance to the facilities served.


Provision should be made for designated accessible car parking spaces for disabled motorists and passengers wherever parking is provided. Ideally, designated accessible spaces should be located adjacent, or as close as possible, to the entrance of the facility they serve, and no more than 50 metres away.  Where changes in level between the car park and the development have to be overcome, a ramp should be provided.


Designated accessible car parking spaces should be larger than standard spaces.  The spaces should be designed so that drivers and passengers, either of whom may be disabled, can get in and out of the vehicle easily and safely. They need to be designed to encompass a wide range of mobility impairments and should ensure easy access to and from the side and rear of the vehicle and protection from moving traffic.


In relation to the provision of parking for disabled drivers or passengers, best practice guidance is provided in Inclusive Mobility: a guide to best practice on access to pedestrian and transport infrastructure (DfT, Jan 2022). This document provides guidance on the appropriate design and the following recommended number of designated accessible parking spaces for Blue Badge holders:


•           For car parks associated with existing employment premises: 2% of the total car park capacity, with a minimum of one space. Spaces for disabled employees must be additional to those recommended above; reservations could be ensured, for example, by marking a space with a registration number.


•           For car parks associated with newly built employment premises: 5% of the total parking capacity should be designated (to include both employees and visitors).


•           For car parks associated with shopping areas, leisure or recreational facilities, and places open to the general public: a minimum of one space for each employee who is a disabled motorist, plus 6% of the total capacity for visiting disabled motorists.


For sites with no or low parking provision due to site constraints, justification of the exclusion of accessible parking areas for disabled people should be clearly set out in planning applications. However, it is advisable that a minimum of one accessible parking bay is provided.


Where specific facilities are likely to attract a higher level of disabled visitors, this should be identified during the planning application process and detailed in transport assessments. The location of suitable drop-off points should also be specified in transport assessments or access statements to demonstrate how the needs of disabled people have been addressed.  Routes from parking areas, linking to footways and building entrances also need careful consideration.  




4d) Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure


Road transport is responsible for the vast majority of the UK’s domestic transport emissions. The Government considers that low emission and plug-in vehicles offer the potential to reduce those emissions and thereby assist in delivering climate change targets, whilst still allowing people the mobility that they want and need. It is recognised that safe, convenient and cost-effective charging infrastructure is necessary to realise the potential environmental, economic and energy benefits.


The popularity of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) has increased in recent years. The Government is committed to growing the market for plug-in vehicles in the UK and proposes to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035. This will further encourage the uptake of ULEVs.


Planning policy supports the provision of infrastructure for ULEVs, with Paragraph 112 of the NPPF stating that local parking standards should ‘be designed to enable charging of plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles in safe, accessible and convenient locations.’ It is appropriate, therefore, that new developments incorporate ULEV charging points into parking design.  It is the responsibility of the developers to ensure that the electricity supply is sufficient to meet future demand and that any power balancing technology is in place if required.




In order to respond to changing needs, it is important that developers consider the likely demand for electric charging points within new developments, and how this is likely to change over time. Developers should identify ways to cater for this demand within the design of new developments as part of the overall provision of parking facilities. This could include, for example, a mix of spaces with active charging facilities and passive provision, i.e. ducting to allow facilities to be brought into use at a later stage.


For communal residential parking areas and car parks for non-residential uses, it is important to provide a mix of ‘active’ charging spaces with the charging infrastructure in place at the outset, and ‘passive’ charging spaces with the wiring and cable conduit in place under the car park for future use. In designing provision for EV charging at non-residential developments there is a need to take account of likely parking behaviours (e.g. duration of stay) as this could affect the number of ‘active’ spaces. In situations where it is not possible to meet demand for ULEV parking on-site, a financial contribution towards the provision of a charging hub nearby may be sought.


East Sussex County Council aims to create off-street charging hubs in key destinations such as town centres and on-route charging locations. It should be noted that on-street electric vehicle chargers will only be supported in locations where no other option is available locally. This will not only minimise street clutter and provide cost efficiencies but allow users to more easily find a charge point when grouped together.


ULEV parking spaces should be signed and marked for Electric Vehicle Charging Only, which will require ongoing management and enforcement. Charging points at public parking spaces, for example at retail parks or places of work, must be accessible to the general public and employees. Publicly available charging points should be registered with the National Charge-point Registry. Details of how ULEV parking will be allocated and managed should be included within the respective Transport Assessments. This should also set out how ULEV parking for visitors and disabled users will be accommodated.








Currently, most charging of ULEVs takes place at home, overnight. Therefore, in accordance with current standards and codes of practice, developers are required to include charging facilities for electric vehicles at all properties with off-street parking.


The UK government's current EV charging requirements came into force in England in June 2022, as part of an overhaul of the country’s Building Regulations (Part S):


•           Every new home, including those created from a change of use, with associated parking must have an EV charge point.


•           Residential buildings undergoing a major renovation which will have more than 10 parking spaces must have at least one EV charge point per dwelling with associated parking, along with cable routes in all spaces without charge points.


•           All new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one charge point and cable routes for one in five (20%) of the total number of spaces.


•           All non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation that will have more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one charge point, along with cable routes for one in five spaces.


EV charging is a developing technology and the Council will continue to monitor levels of electric vehicle ownership / usage and seek to ensure that connection points are installed in line with demand and the latest published technical requirements and standards.  Where appropriate, the Council will support a level of provision higher than the relevant prevailing guidance. 






4e) Cycle Parking


Cycle provision offers a realistic alternative to the private car, particularly for shorter journeys and in urban settlements. However, the likelihood of an individual selecting the cycle as their mode of choice is dependent on several factors which can be influenced by development proposals.


The location and design of cycle parking should be in alignment with the guidance outlined in Manual for Streets. More recently, in 2020, the Local Transport Note 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design was published by the Department for Transport. This provides guidance to local authorities on delivering high quality cycling infrastructure, including cycle parking standards.


Consideration must be given to ‘designing in’ cycle parking from the outset of any development and should adhere to the following best practice principles. Cycle parking should be:


•           Conveniently located and well-signed;

•           Accessible and easy to use;

•           Consistently available;

•           Safe, secure and well lit;

•           Covered (and enclosed for long term parking);

•           Fit for purpose;

•           Well-managed, monitored and well maintained; and

•           Attractive.


Cycle parking provision can be categorised into the following categories:


•           Short stay – typically for visitors or customers and located in a convenient and overlooked location as close the destination as possible.

•           Long stay – typically for residents and staff in an enclosed and secure store at home, place of education or work.


Driveways or parking spaces may require an additional metre alongside if cycles are to be parked/stored within rear gardens etc. Garages should also be increased in size if they are to also provide for cycle parking. The required level of widening will depend on the number of cycles to be stored.


The emergence of e-bikes, which are typically of a higher value than standard pedal bikes, reinforces the need for secure parking with surveillance (either by CCTV cameras or natural surveillance from people going about their normal business).  In order to support the growth and use of electric bikes, where appropriate, electric bike charging points adjacent to any secure cycle parking should be provided.


Guidance for the provision of cycle parking at residential and non-residential developments are set out in section 6 and appendix B respectively. As with car parking, a proportion of the cycle parking (typically 5%) should be provided for non-standard cycles to accommodate people with mobility impairments.





4f) Powered Two-Wheeler Parking


For the purposes of this document motorcycles, mopeds and scooters are all classed as powered two-wheelers (PTWs).


In general, PTW users prefer to park close to their destination in a secure, overlooked location equipped with robust fixed anchor points to deter theft. In most residential situations motorcyclists will be able to use car parking spaces or garages. The size and design of the PTW parking space(s) should be in accordance with the guidance provided in Manual for Streets and the DfT Traffic advisory Leaflet 2/02 – Motorcycling Parking (2002).


Appropriate parking standards are based upon a percentage of the overall parking provision which is typically 5%, or a minimum of one to 2 spaces at all development. This figure can be reasonably increased dependent on the likely use of the development, particularly at colleges. The provision of PTW parking should be in addition to an appropriate level of cycle parking.


Wherever possible, PTW parking spaces should be provided within 50m of their destination to avoid informal or ad-hoc parking which often causes obstruction or hazards to other road users.






















5  Local Characteristics and Other Considerations


There are several factors that will need to be considered in order to achieve the desired optimum level of parking provision at new development. These considerations will be site specific and therefore it is essential that each site is assessed on its own merits.  Following this assessment, in some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide some flexibility in the application of parking requirements.  Any reduced provision of parking provision will need to be clearly and robustly demonstrated at the design stage when consideration can be given to:


•           Local Characteristics – whether the site is located within an urban or rural settlement will have a significant impact on the level of parking provision that will need to be provided.


•           High levels of accessibility - whether the site is located within close proximity of local services with access to cycle routes and within appropriate walking distance of frequent bus and/or rail services to allow the use of non-car modes.  In line with the Local Transport Plan the Council aims to lower car use and prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. 


•           Travel Plans – whether a ‘SMART’ Travel Plan has been submitted with realistic targets aimed at reducing car ownership levels to help promote other forms of sustainable transport.  Any sustainable alternatives offered must be actively incentivised and monitored.


•           Car Clubs / Pool Cars – providing access to a vehicle that can be shared by users of the development. Incentives should also be provided to encourage users to share car journeys to/from the development.  Car club spaces should be located as conveniently and as prominently as possible to maximise their use.  They should be clearly marked and signed as car club spaces.  If located on the highway the car club would require a TRO which should be funded by the developer.


•           Controlled Parking Zones - proposals that will have an impact on existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ), or existing on-street parking restrictions will need to be carefully considered and may require wider consultation.


•           Availability of Public Car Parks - the use of other car parks in close proximity will give an indication of whether additional parking is required. Similarly, if the existing public car parks are significantly under-utilised then an argument could be constructed that reduced visitor parking provision may be appropriate.


Where a reduction in parking provision is proposed, there is an expectation that the proponent should discuss this with the Highway Authority in advance of submitting a formal planning application. It may be necessary for the applicant to demonstrate that there is sufficient/available on street parking to cater for an agreed level of demand. A Car Parking Capacity Survey may need to be carried out in accordance with the details in Section 8.










6  Guidance for Residential Development


While Highway Authorities may indicate parking standards/guidance for their area, it is recognised that due consideration should be given to local circumstances, accessibility and local car ownership. Within East Sussex a calculation tool for residential proposals has been developed based on Census 2021 data and allows site specific determination of predicted parking demand by entering data including the location (ward), dwelling type (house or flat) size (number of bedrooms) and the way parking is provided (allocated or unallocated). Expected levels of car ownership and demand will be calculated. Appendix A provides guidance on the use of the calculator.


With regard to the type of space provided, designers are faced with several options that include allocated spaces, un-allocated spaces, on-street, garages, carports, driveway parking, tandem parking and parking courtyards.  In line with the general principles (see section 4), parking provision for residential uses should respond to the size, type and location of the development. 


Car parking also needs to be designed with security in mind and is often best located on plot, preferably at the front or side of the dwelling where it can be overlooked.  Parking provided off plot should be located as close as is practicable to the property it will be serving and should be overlooked where possible.


To help prevent the loss of parking areas, designers are encouraged to designate convenient storage areas for refuse and recycling bins.




Car parking on driveways is a form of allocated provision and provides parking within the curtilage of a property.  Design which results in vehicles overhanging the footway and/or highway and that causes an obstruction of pedestrian access is not acceptable.  Driveway parking spaces are best provided side by side or in another independently accessible form and positioned behind the building line.




Garages are often not used for parking vehicles with research nationally indicating that, depending on location, only 19% - 45% of garages are used for parking vehicles. They are increasingly used for storage or converted into extra accommodation. Furthermore, modern cars are larger, reliable, more resistant to rust and more secure meaning people believe it is safer and more practical to leave them outside. 


Given the use of garages, parking on new developments is best provided on driveways, car ports or allocated parking bays. Where garages are proposed, they will need to meet the minimum dimensions set out below. However, due to their limited use, even when these standards are met the garage spaces will only count as 1/3rd space.  This means for every 3 garages to be provided, they will only count as 1 parking space towards the overall parking requirement.  Garages that are smaller than the minimum dimensions will not be counted as parking provision as they may be too small for modern cars as well as for accommodating cycle parking. 










Garages should be constructed to the following minimum internal dimensions:


•           6m x 3m (and larger if to be used for cycle parking)


Any garage must be positioned a minimum of 6m from the highway so there is sufficient space for a car to park in front, access to the garage is maintained and to stop cars parked in front of garage from creating an obstruction on the highway. An access door to the rear, or side of the garage should be provided where possible.


Courtyard Parking


Courtyard parking, especially when at the rear of properties, is often not well used due to security concerns and user convenience.  As such, this provision can result in additional on-street parking. In general, courtyard parking should be avoided but, where they are provided, they should be overlooked and/or secured. 


Visitor and Unallocated Parking


Consideration should be given to visitor parking at new residential developments. Allocation of parking to individual units increases the amount of parking needed, whereas unallocated parking takes advantage of different levels of car ownership, including those without vehicles, to use the land given over to parking in the most efficient way. It can also satisfy the reasonable needs of visitor parking because of the varying occupancy patterns across the day. As such, unallocated parking allows for the flexible use of parking spaces and is the most efficient way to cater for visitor parking. 


The calculator tool (see Appendix A) automatically calculates an estimate for the unallocated parking demand and demand for visitors. To maximise its utility this provision should be well distributed throughout residential developments. Within town centre locations with good accessibility to public transport, it should be encouraged for visitors to use non-car modes or existing public car parks.


Cycle Parking at Residential Developments


Ideally, residential cycle parking should be within the curtilage of the property and at the front of the building. The cycle parking must be enclosed and lockable. Requirements need to take account of the location, size and type of dwelling.  Where cycle parking is provided within garages, driveways require extra width to pass by a parked vehicle or a separate path/gate to access cycles should be provided (see 4e for further guidance relating to cycle parking).


All residential development (except sheltered/elderly housing or nursing homes) should, in general, provide 1 cycle space per bedroom.












7  Guidance for Non-residential Development


Careful consideration should be given to parking associated with non-residential development and it is important to differentiate the travel behaviour compared with parking at residential development.


Parking at non-residential development is more likely to be destination based which emphasises the need to provide appropriate levels of parking. Non-residential development should be provided with the appropriate level of car parking provision to avoid any overspill which could have a detrimental effect on road safety. It is also important that excessive parking is not provided to avoid profligate use of land.


In line with the East Sussex Local Transport Plan, businesses should promote sustainable travel behaviour by encouraging employees to travel by non-car modes and reducing the number of single occupancy car journeys. To support sustainable travel measures the availability of car parking or cost of use should be carefully controlled. These measures will be key to delivering carbon reduction targets and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Non-residential development will be subject to relevant planning conditions to ensure that car parking spaces are maintained for the desired purpose unless agreed otherwise.


The parking guidelines (vehicular and cycle) for non-residential development are set out by land-use class in Appendix B. However, there should be a degree of flexibility applied depending on the local characteristics (see section 5) and other relevant considerations in relation to the specific site. This will be based on the accessibility of the site for non-car mode users, the proposed land use, forecast trip rates and the user group of staff / visitors (including shift patterns).


The guidance set out in Appendix B should be used as an initial indication for developers, who should undertake a site-specific assessment and seek to balance operational needs, space requirements, efficient use of land and cost attributed to providing parking and where relevant, attracting/retaining staff.  For some land use types where transport patterns are difficult to generalise, parking provision should be calculated on individual assessment / justification on the basis of a Transport Assessment / Travel Plan.


Cycle parking for non-residential development may include both long and short stay facilities, appropriately located. For short stay provision, small and sufficiently visible clusters of stands close to the entrances to main attractors are generally preferable to one central ‘hub’.  Long stay provision is best provided by a secure store or compound appropriately managed and maintained.  The cycle parking requirements set out in Appendix B reflect the guidance establish in national Cycle Design Guidance (LTN 1/2020) where appropriate. 


For workplaces, public buildings (including those used for leisure and recreation) and larger retail developments high quality showers, lockers, changing rooms and drying areas should be provided to promote the use of active travel modes.






8  Car Parking Capacity Surveys


The guidance below seeks to ensure that parking capacity surveys are robust and that information is of a consistent standard, thereby providing a reliable basis for decision-making.  This should assist developers and their consultants when considering the parking implications of new development and when preparing Transport Statements, Assessments and Travel Plans.


Parking capacity surveys should seek to satisfy the criteria outlined in this guidance and be agreed with the County Council at the application scoping stage. Surveys should follow the ‘Lambeth Methodology’ which will provide a live ‘snapshot’ of parking conditions within a 200m walking distance of the site (measure along walking routes).  Surveys are expected to be carried out by an independent body and under typical conditions. Results are expected to be reported in the form of a short summary report which may form part of a Transport Statement or Assessment.


The geographical area to be surveyed should be proportionate to the impact of the development, determined by the number of vehicles that are expected to park on-street in the surrounding area.  The survey area is expected to centre on the development site and should include the area’s most likely to be used for parking by those living in, or visiting the site, and will therefore need to have regard for site access arrangements.


Surveys timings for residential development may include early morning surveys and/or late evening to assess the amount of overnight parking in the area. For non-residential development surveys should be completed at an agreed peak time in the local area. The duration of the survey will be dependent on the likely impact of the development and whether there are existing pressures on parking space in the area.


Surveys should take the form of a beat survey (or similar alternative) where an enumerator walks a planned route at regular intervals recording appropriate details of the parked vehicles. The enumerator should record sufficient information to provide the following information in a summary report (see table below):


•           the rate of turnover of vehicles on each street expressed as a number of vehicles leaving/arriving per hour;

•           the number of vehicles parked on each street; and

•           an estimate of the parking capacity of each street and a brief explanation of how this was calculated.


If the development is located within a Controlled Parking Zone, the summary report should also provide details of the existing resident permit take-up and/or any waiting lists. This information can be obtained from the East Sussex County Council Parking Team at: parking.escc@eastsussex.gov.uk


A summary report of car parking capacity surveys should be accompanied by:


•           A map displaying the geographical area surveyed at a suitable scale for interpretation

•           Details of the dates and times of day when survey(s) were undertaken

•           Details of parking restrictions (Traffic Regulation Orders) which apply in the survey area





APPENDIX A - The Calculation Tool for Residential Development


A calculation tool has been developed utilising Census Ward data and allows site specific determination of predicted parking demand by entering data including the location (ward) dwelling type (house or flat) size (number of bedrooms) tenure (owner occupied / other (shared ownership / rented / rent free)) and the way parking is provided (allocated or unallocated). Expected levels of car ownership and demand will be calculated using Census 2021 ward data. Corrected data will take account of expected growth to 2036 using TEMPro data.


The tool calculates an estimate for unallocated parking demand and demand for visitors. By altering the allocation of parking the influence on the total parking demand is updated so that the right balance of parking can be determined ensuring efficient use of land. 


Generally parking standards project a level of provision for visitors of about one space for every five homes (20%).  However, studies by Noble and Jenks found that most visits by non-residents in cars clustered during evenings and weekend, coinciding with periods when some residents were using their cars elsewhere.  If the majority of residents’ parking is unallocated, this inflow balances with the outflow.  Therefore no special provision should be made for visitors when at least half of the parking provision associated with a development is unallocated.  If more than 50% of parking is allocated at a development, then this additional demand should be added. The tool will automatically add this demand.


The tool will indicate the appropriate level of parking provision and should be used as a guide. Some flexibility may be applied in determining the actual provision at developments depending on the location and detail of the development proposal.  Agreement to any variation will be at the discretion of County Council Officers and should be supported with appropriate justification.


User Guide


This guidance aims to inform users about how to use the calculator. The user is only required to enter data into the columns with the marked blue arrows only.


Opening the Tool


The calculator is a downloadable Excel Macro Enabled based spreadsheet tool.  To enable the tool to be used Microsoft Excel desktop software must be installed that allows VBA macros and is available on Microsoft Office Suite versions 2007 and newer. Office 365 online version is not able to run VBA macros and cannot be used to access the tool. and the file should be downloaded and saved on the user’s system. When opening the calculator macros should be enabled by clicking “Enable Macros”. Excel files downloaded from the internet automatically blocked macros due to online safety. Prior to July 2022 users were able to click Enable Content to run macros but Microsoft have used a further safeguard level. Macros should only be enabled from trusted sites. When saving the tool the user should select properties and unblock security confirming that it is a safe file.


When opening the calculator, click “Enable Macros” as these play an important role in calculating parking demand.


Before inputting any information into the spreadsheet, the user should click the “Reset” button on the summary worksheet.


Ward Information


The calculator uses information about car ownership in wards to calculate levels of car ownership on a site-specific basis. You must know the ward in which the development is located in order to use the tool. To find the appropriate ward it may be necessary to refer to the following link and input postcode and select district ward boundaries.




For every development, the user should specify three wards:

Ward 1 – the ward in which the development is located

Ward 2 & 3 – either i) the two nearest wards (other than ward 1), or ii) two nearby wards where the existing housing stock is similar to the proposed development.


Unit Type


The user should specify whether the units are flats or houses.




The user should specify whether the units are owner occupied (owned or owned with mortgage)  or other (shared ownership; rented; living rent free).


Dwelling Size


The user should specify how many bedrooms rooms the units will have as this figure will be the basis for the tool to calculate appropriate parking standards. This measurement of dwelling size has been used because the number of bedrooms is a coarse measure of dwelling size and significant variation in car ownership has been found between dwellings with the same number of bedrooms.


Habitable rooms include all living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens, but not bathrooms, WCs, or circulation space. The tool will automatically calculate the number of habitable rooms based on the number of bedrooms using the conversion below.


The bedroom – habitable conversion table is shown below:


Allocated Parking


The user should specify how many parking spaces will be specifically allocated to individual units.  Allocated spaces include numbered parking bays, driveways, garages and parking barns.






Description of Totals


The totals provided by the spreadsheet reflect the expected needs of the development and should be considered in the design of the development.  The following list of cells corresponds to cells in the Residential Parking Demand Calculator.


Cell K36


The input total number of allocated spaces (will depend on the design of the development).


Cell M36


The calculated number of unallocated spaces (in addition to those which are being allocated) required to accommodate residents of the development.


Bedroom – Habitable Room Conversion




Studio = 1 room

1 bed = 2 rooms (1 bedroom, 1 kitchen/living room)

2 bed = 3 rooms (2 bedrooms, 1 kitchen/living room)

3 bed = 4 rooms (3 bedrooms, 1 kitchen/living room)

4 bed = 5 rooms (4 bedrooms, 1 kitchen/living room)




1 bed = 3 rooms (1 bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)

2 bed = 4 rooms (2 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)

3 bed = 5 rooms (3 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)

4 bed = 6 rooms (4 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)

5 bed = 7 rooms (5 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)


Cell O36


The calculated total number of unallocated spaces which would be required to accommodate visitors to the development (will remain zero if less than 50% of spaces are allocated to residents).


Cell P36


The calculated expected level of demand for parking at the development.







APPENDIX B - Parking Guidelines for Non-residential Development


The parking guidelines (vehicular and cycle) for non-residential development are set out by land-use class below.  As explained within sections 5 and 7, there should be a degree of flexibility applied depending on the local characteristics and other considerations such as the proposed land use, the accessibility of the site for non-car mode users, and forecast trip rates.   This guidance should be used as an initial indication for developers who may undertake a site-specific assessment and seek to balance operational needs, space requirements, efficient use of land and cost attributed to providing parking and where relevant, attracting/retaining staff.  For some land use types where transport patterns are difficult to generalise, parking provision may be calculated on individual assessment / justification on the basis of a Transport Assessment or similar.


The requirements set out below reflect the current Use Class Order in England, including the relatively new Use Class E (Commercial, Business and Services).  The effectiveness of this guidance will be kept under review and carefully monitored to ensure that the right balance is struck between meeting parking demand whilst exploiting the potential for sustainable travel and minimising adverse effects on highway safety.


Use Class


Vehicular Spaces

Cycle Spaces

(see 4e for short/long stay guidance)


B2 - General Industrial

1 per 50m²


·         Short stay – 1 per 1000m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 200m²


B8 - Storage

1 per 100m²

·         Short stay – 1 per 1000m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 500m²


C1 - Hotels

1 per bedroom (plus 1 per resident staff plus 1 per 2 non-resident staff)


·         1 cycle space per 8 car-parking spaces provided (subject to a minimum of 2 cycle spaces).


C2 - Residential Care Homes

Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan


E - Shops and retail

1 per 14m²

Small (under 200m²)

·         Short stay – 1 per 100m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 100m²


Medium (200-1000m²)

·         Short stay – 1 per 200m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 200m²


Large (over 1000m²)

·         Short stay – 1 per 250m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 500m²


E – Financial & Professional Services


1 per 30m²

·         Short stay – 1 per 200m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 100m²


E – Food and drink (mainly on premises)

1 per 5m² of public area and 1 per 2 f/t equivalent staff members


·         Short stay - 1 per 25m²

·         Long stay - 1 per 4 f/t staff

E – Business (office, research and development and light industrial process)

1 per 30m²

·         Short stay – 1 per 500m²

·         Long stay – 1 per 150m²


E – Non-residential institutions (medical or health services, crèches, day nurseries & centres)


Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan


E – Assembly and Leisure (indoor sport, recreation or fitness, gyms)


Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan


·         Short stay - 1 per 50m²

·         Long stay - 1 per 4 f/t staff 




F.1 - Learning and non-residential institutions

Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan


Based on travel plan mode share targets but a minimum of:

·         Long stay – 1 per 20 f/t staff / 1 per 10 students


F.2 - Local Community Uses

Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan


·         Short stay - 1 per 100m²

·         Long stay - 1 per 4 f/t staff  


Sui Generis - Public House, wine bar, drinking establishment


1 per 5m² of public area plus 1 per 2 f/t equivalent staff members


·         Short stay - 1 per 100m²

·         Long stay - 1 per 4 f/t staff 


Sui Generis - Hot Food Takeaway

1 per 5m² of public area plus 1 per 2 f/t equivalent staff members


·         Short stay - 1 per 100m²

·         Long stay - 1 per 5 f/t staff 


Sui Generis - Cinema, Concert Hall, Bingo Hall, Dance Hall, Live music venue


Site-specific assessment based on operational needs and Transport Assessment, Statement, Travel Plan