Essex Parking Guidance Consultation

Closed 6 Feb 2024

Opened 16 Oct 2023


The Essex Planning Officers Association are carrying out work to revise the parking standards guidance to inform new development across Essex.

The EPOA began consultation between October and December last year. To build on a positive start to the consultation they would like to ensure they have a balanced set of views which include the development industry who are expected to be one of the main users of the guidance.

Parking guidance is referred to in Castle Point Borough Council’s Policy and Plans and the County Council’s Local Transport Plan. The Guidance sets parking for different vehicle types, design and location, dimensions for parking and a suggested quantum for different types of development.

The EPOA are consulting on Parking Standards for Development such as Housing, Retail, Commercial and Leisure uses. In Part 1, the document will cover the smallest developments upwards, of any type across Essex. A new approach to apply to Garden Communities and Large Scale Developments is contained in Part 2 and is also being also being consulted on.

What are the key changes?

The existing guidance was approved in 2009 and therefore needs to be updated as there have been changes in planning legislation and policy, introduction of Garden Communities and a greater awareness on the need to manage the impact of developments on local communities and the environment.

The main changes to Part 1 of the Parking Standards include:

  • Updated guidance and removal of arbitrary maximum parking values
  • Compliance with National Planning policy
  • Improved evidence base
  • Parking provision based on how accessible a location is
  • Reflecting electric vehicle charging.
  • Update to cycle parking to align with the new national guidance.

The main features of the new Part 2 guidance (Garden Communities and Largescale Development) has a focus on outcomes including:

  • Supporting Sustainable Growth and responding to Climate Change
  • Deliver quality places to live.
  • Help manage congestion and local impacts on existing communities close to new large developments.
  • Provide for a range of vehicle types and future flexibility.
  • Reflect wider aims to encourage modal choice which makes better use of the local transport network.

The Guidance introduces a technical planning tool which looks at the location of the development and its proximity to everyday services, and allows for an assessment of the development based on location and the infrastructure and services it will need to deliver to achieve the above outcomes. It consults on the idea of a parking budget – the quantum of parking, a greater split between off road and on road parking and flexibility on design.

What happens after the consultation period?

Nothing has been decided at this stage, however, the EPOA are really keen to understand the views of developers on how best to take forward the next phase. EPOA, the Consultant and Parking working group will review the comments and consider where and how to make changes.

What is EPOA?

The EPOA represents 12 Local Planning Authorities in Essex, as well as two unitary authorities (Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea) and Essex County Council. Heads of planning departments from the authorities meet several times a year to discuss planning issues affecting the whole of Essex, and produce planning guidance documents.


Why your views matter

How to Respond

A survey is attached to each document, and these are hosted on behalf of the EPOA on the Essex County Council website at:

The closing date for the survey is on Tuesday 6th February 2024.

If you have any queries, you can contact adding “parking guidance” in the subject line. The EPOA partners have various contact across Essex and would like to reduce potential duplication. They have therefore requested that each company/organisation coordinates it’s response and accepts that you may represent several clients. If you personally would not normally deal with such a request would you please forward it to the correct person who could oblige. If you have already assisted with this consultation then there is no need to do so again.


  • All Areas


  • Major housebuilders
  • SME builders
  • Local agents


  • Castle Point Plan