Policy T3

Policy T3: Residential Storage for Cycles and Mobility Aids

Residential development proposals for new build or change of use should provide storage facilities for cycles and mobility aids as follows:

  1. Cycle parking should be provided at the rates required by the County Durham Parking and Accessibility Standards. The space and access must also be adaptable for storing other mobility aids, including powered wheelchairs, mobility scooters, children’s buggies and prams. Electric power must be available to allow recharging of powered mobility aids and e-bikes.
  2. Where storage is provided communally for a number of dwelling units the travel plan should include a commitment to ongoing active management of communal storage spaces, including timely removal of abandoned equipment, and provision of additional capacity when needed.
  3. The design and location of storage must accord with current best practice guidance, with appropriate solutions selected depending on the style and context of the development.

4.247 Current best practice guidance for cycle storage can be found in the Cycle Parking Guide for New Residential Developments (Transport Initiatives LLP and Cambridge City Council, 2010). Developers are strongly encouraged to use this guidance, adapted as necessary for the storage of other travel equipment covered by the policy.

4.248 Cycle and mobility aid storage may be catered for simply by providing sufficient garage space. In properties without garages a variety of design solutions are shown in the Cycle Parking Guide for New Residential Developments, but particular attention will need to be paid to the storage of other mobility aids. Solutions such as porch extensions or additional hallway space would give greater flexibility than free-standing sheds or lockers, as the space could be used to store other belongings if the householder has no need to accommodate cycles or mobility aids.

4.249 Discretion may be exercised by the Planning Authority in cases of redevelopment and conversion of existing buildings and developments within the conservation areas. It is imperative that cycle and mobility aid storage forms an integral part of any full or reserved matters planning application, rather than treating it as a secondary issue to be resolved by condition. Full details of the location, type of fittings, spacing, numbers, method of installation and access to storage should be provided.

Justification

4.250 It is essential that residents have sufficient space to store the various types of travel equipment they require. Convenience of use strongly influences transport choices, so if sustainable travel is to be encouraged it is essential that it is no harder to access a bicycle (for example) than a car. The ‘Manual for Streets’ (Department for Transport, 2007b, section 8.2.1) states that “providing enough convenient and secure cycle parking at people’s homes and other locations for both residents and visitors is critical to increasing the use of cycles”. It is clear that having no storage for mobility aids could lead to greater social isolation as a resident’s mobility becomes impaired.

4.251 On page 33 of the Durham City Sustainable Transport Delivery Plan (Durham County Council, 2018b) it is stated that higher provision of high quality cycle parking within developments is required, including in residential development within the City. The latest County Durham Parking and Accessibility Standards (Durham County Council, 2019a) has increased the level of provision required but does not provide sufficient clarity on design and does not cater for mobility aids.

4.252 The ‘National Travel Survey’ (Department for Transport, 2016, Table NTS0608) shows that for adult age bands around 40% of people own or have use of a bicycle, dropping to about 20% only for the 60+ age bracket. However, for the older age brackets use of other mobility aids would take the place of the need for cycle storage.

4.253 Facilities for recharging for electric equipment are important for mobility aids, but also for e-bikes. The 2019 revision of the County Durham Parking and Accessibility Standards covers requirements for provision of electric vehicle charging points, and Policy T3 extends this to other personal electric transport modes. The Department for Transport’s recommended ‘Propensity to Cycle Tool’ predicts that, because of the hilly nature of the City, wider uptake of e-bikes would have the potential to almost double cycling trips in Our Neighbourhood.

4.254 This policy therefore seeks to ensure that lack of storage, or poor storage design, is no obstacle to uptake of sustainable travel modes in Our Neighbourhood, and that residential properties are adaptable to the changing mobility needs of individuals and families at different stages in their lives.

Next section: Theme 6: A city with an enriched community life

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