Adequate parking required

THE head of Angus Council’s infrastructure services has called for confirmation that new supermarket developments, including Asda in Forfar, will conform to parking standards.

Reporting to the infrastructure services committee, Eric Lowson recommended that they confirm parking standards will adhere to those developed by the former Tayside Regional Council.

Mr Lowson said: “Where there is less opportunity for alternative sustainable transport options, it is recognised that parking standards require to vary locally to cater for a higher level of car parking particularly in local authority areas where a significant part of the retail catchment lies within rural or semi-rural surroundings.

“This should be underpinned by local authorities own minimum parking standards to avoid off-site overspill parking.”

In February 2010, the Scottish Government published a new policy for maximum parking standards in the Scottish Planning Policy.

Mr Lowson said: “Although the Angus Council parking standards for food supermarkets over 500 metres gross floor area is stated as seven to 10 spaces per 100 square metres, the standard applied is at the lower end of this scale i.e. seven spaces per 100 square metres which is in line with the maximum limit in the current Scottish Planning Policy.”

Parking spaces in Angus conform to that of other local authorities. In Perth and Kinross the minimum number of spaces required for areas over 500 metres squared is six and a half, in Stirling, Moray and out with Aberdeenshire town centres the number is eight.

Mr Lowson said: “Whilst maximum standards may be appropriate in the centre of major urban areas with a comprehensive and frequent public transport service this is not the case in an environment such as Angus.

“Supermarket developments in the towns in Angus are only viable where there is sufficient parking.

“Car use and ownership in Angus continues to grow. Any suggestion that there is less need for parking is misplaced.

“The pressure on public funding in the forseeable future will not lead to improved public transport provision. Indeed it is more likely to result in reduced public transport levels of services thus greater pressures on car parking at retail facilities.

“It is essential when setting standards and dealing with development proposals to consider both the long-term impact and the short term benefits. A failure to require developers to provide sufficient parking will lead to longer term problems.”