Car free developments and restrictions on parking permits

What is a ‘car free’ development?

A car free development is where parking is not provided on site and when planning permission was granted for the development there was not sufficient capacity for any additional vehicles to be parked on the highway.

When granting planning permission for your home, the council will seek a legal agreement, in the form of a Unilateral Undertaking or Section 106 Agreement removing your ability to apply for a parking permit.

Applicants will need to cover the council’s legal costs.

How can I find out if my property is a ‘car free’ development?

Follow this steps to find out if you property is a ‘car free’ development:

a. Go to our planning search website and carry out a property search against your address, on the history section it will list any planning permissions relevant to your property;
b. For each application there are documents including plans, the decision notice and in some cases a Section 106 Agreement;
c. If there are “Car Free” restrictions, you will find them either:
- as a conditions restricting permits on the decision notices; or
- as a permit restriction in any section 106 agreement. 

Where there are both a Section 106 Agreement and a Decision Notice, you will need to check both carefully before concluding there are no restrictions on parking permits for any property.

Why do planning permission limit parking permits?

In some areas restrictions are put in place because there is not sufficient capacity for any more vehicles to park on the highway.  In addition to this restrictions reduce the impact of the development in the area and promote the use of sustainable transport.

Some policies relevant to transport and parking are policies DM A1, DM A9, DM J2 and DM J3 of the Local Plan.

View the Local Plan

How can a planning permission limit parking permits?

A planning permission can limit parking permits by agreement under a Planning Obligation, usually called Section 106 or Unilateral Undertaking, where the applicant must cover the council’s legal costs.

Can I change the restriction?

You can change the restriction on your property on the planning portal website.

Visit the site to:

  • apply to vary or discharge the condition   
  • apply for a variation of planning obligation.

What will be taken into consideration when you apply?

When assessing an application to vary a condition or obligation, the officer will consider:

  • impact on parking levels
  • impact on neighbouring properties
  • access to public transport
  • provision of cycle parking.

Can I have a parking permit in the interim?

We are unable to issue you a parking permit while a decision is issued for your application.

The council is refusing to renew my parking permit, why?

In the refresh of the council’s parking restrictions it is has been identified that a small number of parking permits were issued to properties with restrictions. In such cases, where they come up for renewal, you may find that your application for renewal is declined for this reason. In such cases, please follow the instructions above to identify the restrictions on your property. If you disagree with the restrictions you can apply to vary them, however in the interim, the council are unable to issue you a permit.

Is there a right of appeal if the council refuse to to vary the restrictions on my property?

If you apply to the council, and we are unable to support your application, there is a right of appeal to the planning inspectorate. 

View more information about the rights of appeal.

Before doing so, please take the opportunity to carefully read the case officer's report explaining how the decision was reached. This will be published online along with your planning application and you can view it in the planning application database.

Contact us

Contact the planning applications team

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