Introduction to the standards

1 The numerical standards set out below were adopted by the Borough Council on June 26 2003. They are based on those in the Surrey County Council document titled 'A Parking Strategy for Surrey, March 2003', for which the County Council carried out extensive consultation which included the Borough Council. The new car parking standards operate as maximum standards for all new developments, and replace those in the Borough Local Plan 1994. The standards have been reviewed by the County Council so as to comply with national policy guidance, including the review of Planning Policy Guidance 13 on Transport, Planning Policy Guidance 3 on Housing and Regional Planning Guidance in RPG9.

2 The standards are based on extensive research involving surveys and interrogation of databases such as TRICS, traffic impact assessment reports, the County planning appeals system and other literature on specific parking issues and studies undertaken. In a very limited number of cases particular local circumstances have been taken into account, resulting in changes between the Borough's adopted standards and those contained in the County Strategy.

3 The borough has not yet been divided into 'Parking Areas' as defined in the County Strategy. This process will be carried out following a comprehensive review of on-street parking controls by the County Council. This will be commenced after the introduction and establishment of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement. Until then, the standards set out below will be operated without any percentage reduction.

Minimum operational parking standards

4 Minimum operational levels of parking are required to cater for essential trips which cannot be made by public transport, including provision for essential building maintenance and security staff. The applicant for planning consent must demonstrate a special need for such parking provision, which will not include commuter or visitor parking. In addition, parking spaces should be designated specifically for disabled drivers. In general, 5% of the parking spaces determined by the standard should be allocated for use by the disabled, although in areas of high restraint a minimum standard has been set. In all cases at least one space for the disabled must be provided.

5 The definition of operational parking for Surrey should include the following:

- provision for people with disabilities

- provision for servicing (to include maintenance & deliveries)

- provision for pool cars (if necessary for the operation of the activity)

- an allowance for the special needs of particular car-based activities (e.g. vehicle repair garages, tyre centres)

- an allowance for people working unsocial hours (i.e. security guards)

Parking for visitors (other than those with disabilities) and employees (other than those with disabilities and those working unsocial hours) should not be considered operational.

The maximum standards - general notes

6 The level of parking to be provided for all new developments or changes of use is set out in the following Schedule of Parking Standards. For non-residential developments, parking spaces should be provided either on-site or in marked bays on roads constructed within the development. Parking spaces in public car parks may be utilised subject to these not being additional to the standard and not compromising short stay availability. Residential parking spaces should be provided either in garages, on hardstanding or in marked bays adjacent to the highway. On-street spaces may be included within the standard provision provided that these do not compromise the safety or operation of the highway.

7 Maximum standards will be applied for residential developments of 20 dwellings and above to comply with the general guidance set out in PPG3: Housing. PPG13 Transport states that maximum parking standards should be set for all forms of development. PPG3 states that the standard for residential development should be set to achieve on average a maximum of 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit. For most forms of market housing the general guideline should be:

1.0 car space per 1 bedroom dwelling unit } Provided they result
1.5 car spaces per 2 bedroom dwelling unit } in 1.5 on average
2.0 car spaces per 3 bedroom dwelling unit } across the local authority area

8 These numerical variations assume that an average 1.5 spaces per dwelling can be achieved overall. However, it is unrealistic to expect that small developments with dwellings of 3 bedrooms or more will meet this standard. Indeed, in some parts of Surrey, applications for large houses, each within their own sometimes extensive curtilage and away from good public transport facilities, include double garages and room for parking four or more cars. Clearly, this new maximum standard could not be strictly imposed on any such proposal.

9 There should be an acceptable threshold above which the new maximum standard of 1.5 spaces should be capable of achievement. As stated in paragraph 7 above, this is considered to be at 20 dwellings and above. It should be possible through a mix of dwelling types to set the overall parking standard at this level. A common sense approach must be taken in applying an appropriate provision. Below the threshold, there should be flexibility and the maximum standard would only be advisory to comply with the general guidance in PPG3.

10 In a town centre location and where sites offer good accessibility to public transport, the maximum standard should be applied rigidly.

11 Principles for dealing with car parking within layout design are set out in 'Surrey Design-A Strategic Guide for Quality Built Environments'. The guide stresses that in housing developments, 'emphasis must be on creating places and streets for people rather than on design solutions that are rigidly tailored to the geometric movement requirements of vehicles, whether moving or stationary.' By careful design of the space around dwellings, it should be easier to accommodate a reduced overall provision of 1.5 car parking spaces per dwelling within a layout without allowing car parking to dominate. It is recognised that in some cases, this may mean a combination of assigned and unassigned spaces.

12 Just as important is the design of the highway layout to accommodate an element of unassigned spaces for cars that will need to be parked on surrounding streets rather than on the curtilage. In most cases, to achieve a maximum standard, it will be necessary to 'design out' an element of assigned off-street spaces. It is possible that a design layout may make it necessary to introduce a Controlled Parking Zone. In such cases the boundary with any existing residential area will need to be treated sensitively.

13 As stated earlier, all standards are subject to minimum operational and disabled requirements being met. The non-residential standards should be applied to the floor area or part thereof. The minimum requirement in all cases is therefore one space.

14 Standards for lorry spaces are given as indicative figures and actual provision should meet minimum operational requirements.

15 Cycle and motor cycle standards are given for individual land use classes. These are minimum standards. For the design and layout of cycle parking facilities refer to the Surrey County Council, 'Cycle Facility Design Guide'.

16 Floor areas referred to throughout these standards relate to the gross floor area (GFA) in square metres as ascertained by external measurement of the building unless otherwise stated. Reference to the types of development conforms to the Use Classes specified in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as amended by the General (Amended) Development Order 1995.

A1 Retail  

Food or non-food retail
(up to 500 sq m)

(e.g. small parades of shops serving the local community)

1 car space per 30 sq m

Food or non-food retail

(up to 1,000 sq m)

1 car space per 25 sq m

1 lorry space per 500 sq m

Food retail (greater than 1,000 sq m)

1 car space per 14 sq m

1 lorry space per 500 sq m

For stores greater than 2,500 sq m 1 lorry space or goods bay per 750 sq m.

For stores greater than 5,000 sq m 1 lorry space or goods bay per 1,000 sq m

Open air markets

6 car spaces per vendor

DIY store without garden centre

1 car space per 25 sq m open and covered display area plus 1 lorry space per

500 sq m

Garden centres

1 car space per 25 sq m open and covered display area plus 1 lorry space per

500 sq m

Retail parks

1 car space per 25 sq m plus 1 lorry space per 500 sq m

Other uses

1 car space per 25 sq m plus 1 lorry space per 500 sq m

A2 Financial and professional services

Banks, building societies, estate agents and other agencies, betting shops

1 car space per 30 sq m

A3 Food and drink  

Restaurants and cafes, wine bars and public houses and licensed clubs

1 car space per 6 sq m

B1 Business use


1 car space per 30 sq m

Business parks

1 car space per 30 sq m

Light industrial, high technology, science parks and research parks

1 car space per 30 sq m

B2 General industrial

General industrial use

1 car space per 30 sq m

B8 Storage and distribution

Warehouse - storage

1 car space per 100 sq m plus 1 lorry space per 200 sq m

Warehouse - distribution

1 car space per 70 sq m plus 1 lorry space per 200 sq.m

Cash and carry

1 car space per 30 sq m plus 1 lorry space per 200 sq m

C1 Hotels, hostels, guesthouses and bed & breakfast accommodation

1.5 car spaces per bedroom (may be reduced to 1 car space per bedroom if other facilities such as bars, restaurants and function rooms are not open to non-residents) plus 1 coach space per 100 bedrooms.

Residential hostels

1 car space per 3 residents

C2 Residential institutions

Old people's homes

1 car space per 5 residents


1 car space per 4 staff plus 1 car space per 3 daily visitors

Student hostel

1 car space per 5 students and 1 car space per member of staff

Nursing homes

Individual assessment

Residential schools

1 car space per 2 members of staff

C3 Dwelling houses

1 bedroom unit

2 bedroom unit

3 or more bedroom unit

1 car space

1.5 car spaces

2 car spaces

Elderly (sheltered)

1 car space per 1 or 2 bedroom dwelling unit (self-contained)

0.5 car space per dwelling unit (communal)

D1 Non-residential institutions

Day nurseries/crèches

0.75 car spaces per member of staff plus 0.2 spaces per child.

(Note: Staff provision to be based on actual full time and part time numbers)

Doctors' practices

1 car space per doctor, 1 car space per 2 ancillary staff and 2 spaces per consulting room

Dentists' practices

3 car spaces per consulting room

Veterinary practices

4 car spaces per consulting room

Libraries, museums and art galleries

1 car space per 30 sq m

Public halls licensed for entertainment. Unlicensed youth and community centres and Scout huts etc.

1 car space per 3 persons or per 3 seats or per 20 sq m

Places of worship

1 car space per 10 seats (Where is likely that the congregation will be drawn from a wide area, additional spaces may be required).

Schools and Colleges

New schools or those where expansion is proposed will be requested to develop and monitor 'School Transport and Development Plans' with the assistance of SCC.

Car parking: only operational requirements should be provided for, together with overflow parking on hard play areas for community uses. Pupil parking and drop off /pick up areas are discouraged as this encourages car usage (except on existing sites where any further on street parking will reduce highway safety or emergency access). However, all other measures to discourage parking will be considered first and could include car sharing, staggered opening and closing times, parking restrictions etc. A parking management plan should be prepared and submitted as an integral part of any planning application.

Coach/Bus parking: on all new school sites where it is likely that pupils will travel to and from school in coaches, sufficient space should be reserved to allow coaches to enter the site, drop off and pick up pupils. Where appropriate, bus stops, bays, bus borders, seating and shelters shall be provided on the highway by the applicant.

Cycling: provision of cycle parking will be a condition of any new or expanded school. Wherever possible, improvements to cycle routes/safety measures should be sought by the applicant.

D2 Assembly and leisure

The following standards are applicable to the normal use of premises. Where special uses are intended or special circumstances apply, addition al parking spaces may be required.

Theatres, cinemas, bingo clubs, dance halls and clubs

1 car space per 5 persons as licensed

(1 car space per 3 persons if less than 1,000 sq m).

Conference centres

1 car space per 5 seats (1 car space per 3 seats if less than 1,000 sq m)

Exhibition halls

1 car space per 6 sq m


1 car space per 15 seats.

Multi-activity health clubs or leisure centres

Individual assessment

Tennis and Badminton Clubs

4 car spaces per court

Squash Clubs

2 car spaces per court

Marinas and water sports

3 car spaces per hectare of water area

Field sports clubs

1 car space per 2 playing participants

Golf clubs and driving ranges

1 car space per 0.3 holes or per driving bay

Equestrian centres

1 car space per stable

Other uses

Pick your own fruit farms

9 car spaces per hectare of PYO farm land

Vehicle repair, garage and spares stores

1 car space per 20 sq m

Car sales establishments

1 car space per 50m 2 car display area

Exhaust and tyre centres

1 car space per 0.3-0.5 bays

Mixed uses - town centres

Individual assessment

Mixed uses - out of town

Individual assessment

Parking for disabled drivers

General advice is included in 'Parking for Disabled People' and 'PPG13 Good Practice Guide', both published by the former Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). Detailed advice on the preferred location and dimensions for disabled parking bays is included in 'Surrey Design-a Strategic Guide for Quality Built Environments' published by SCC. Regard should also be had to advice published in 'Reducing Mobility Handicaps' by the Institution of Highways and Transportation.

For non-residential developments, 5% of parking spaces should be allocated for disabled persons. In areas of high parking restraint this may not give sufficient spaces, hence a minimum standard of one space per 750 sq m should be provided in zone types 1 and 2. In all cases, parking for the disabled should be sufficient to meet demand.

Car parking spaces for people with disabilities should be larger than usual to enable a wheelchair user to transfer easily to and from a car, and thus should have minimum dimensions of 5.0m x 3.6m. They should be located close to an accessible entrance, preferably the main entrance. The entrance should be ideally under cover, clearly signed and not more than 50m from the designated parking spaces.

Cycle and Motor Cycle Parking

The following table is published by the London Cycle Network in their Design Manual and is a good basis for determining the minimum number of cycle parking spaces to be provided.


Rail Stations

5 cycle and 5 motor cycle spaces per peak period train

Bus Stations

2 cycle and 2 motor cycle spaces per 100 peak period passengers

The following guidelines should also be noted:

At least one 'Sheffield' type stand should be provided per 20 car parking spaces, subject to a minimum of 2 stands being provided.

Stands should be located within 20 metres of the access to the premises, which they serve.

Stands provided in a group should be undercover, lit, secure and adequately signed.

Cycle parking may be waived for developments of less than 250 sq m gross floor area (GFA) if adequate provision is available within 20 metres of the building access.

Cycle parking is not required for petrol filling stations, motor vehicle service facilities and transport cafes.


Land Use/Category


Cycle Parking Standard

Places of Work


Business Offices, Services

1 space per 125 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces


Light Industrial

1 space per 250 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces

B2, B7

General Industrial

1 space per 500 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces



1 space per 500 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces



Food Retail

Out of town 1 space per 350 sq.m. Town centre/local shopping centre 1 space per 125 sq.m.


Non-food Retail

Out of town 1 space per 1500 sq.m. with minimum of 4 spaces. Town centre/local shopping centre 1 space per 300 sq.m..


Garden Centre

1 space per 300 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces



Primary Schools

1 space per 10 staff and 1 space per 20 students


Secondary Schools

1 space per 10 staff/students




1 space per 8 staff/students



Pubs, Wine Bars

1 space per 100 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces


Fast food takeaway

1 space per 50 sq.m. with minimum of 2 spaces


Restaurants, cafes

1 space per 20 seats with a minimum of 2 spaces


Theatres, cinemas

1 space per 50 seats with a minimum of 2 spaces


Leisure, sports centres, swimming baths

1 space per 10 staff plus 1 space per 20 peak period visitors



Student accommodation

1 space per 2 students



1 space per unit



Doctor & dentist

Surgeries, health

centres & clinics

1 space per 5 staff plus 1 space per 5 visitors



1 space per 10 staff plus 1 space per 10 visitors




1 space per 5 staff plus 1 space per 10 visitors

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