Using a Government-approved methodology for forecasting car ownership in new developments, together with surveys of the existing town centre car parks, DHA successfully argued that the proposed on-site parking provision, which represents a net uplift of seven spaces over the existing shopping centre car park, would accommodate the demand of both future residents and town centre users.
Whilst a slight deficit in town centre parking was forecast for a short period on market days, DHA negotiated the provision of a developer-funded bus service as mitigation, to ensure that local residents continue to have good access to this vital community facility. Three car club vehicles are to be provided as part of the scheme, with U+I providing free membership for new residents of the development for three years. The car club vehicles will also be available to existing residents of Swanley, creating a viable alternative to private car ownership.
The scheme was initially refused at Planning Committee by Sevenoaks District Council, despite an officer recommendation to approve and no objection from Kent County Council Highways. It was, however, subsequently permitted at Appeal after the Planning Inspector accepted DHA’s justification for the proposed car parking supply, amongst other design and amenity considerations.