Parking – Yes or No?

Car parking is an important element that influences final development design. It can impact on how your development looks, functions and who it attracts. In this blog we take a quick look at parking in terms of what’s wanted versus what’s needed. There is a general shift in local and central government towards reducing the number of parking spaces required, but what’s the right balance for your development?


What’s needed?

In simple terms, the Auckland Unitary Plan sets out what’s required in terms of parking, including maximum and minimum number of parking spaces, dimensions and manoeuvring. We’ll discuss this more in next weeks blog, but in some zones no parking is required by the Auckland Unitary Plan. This doesn’t however mean you can’t provide any and you should carefully weigh up the issues when finalising parking proposed for your development.


What’s wanted?

As a developer, the Auckland Unitary Plan and the need for a resource consent only makes up one part of what you consider in designing your project. In terms of parking, we would suggest you also consider:


What are your purchasers looking for?

Most development are on- sold soon after completion, so you’re designing for someone else. What is your target market looking for or expecting? Will not providing car parking impact on who wants to buy or tenant your buildings? You should balance this however with a slow shift in expectations, towards acceptance of using car alternatives and relying less on private vehicles.



Is shared parking or vehicles an option?

Can you provide shared parking, or shared, bookable vehicles? Shared parking could be a viable option for businesses for example, where they have peak hours at different times, or operate at different times. This can be a “middle ground” and is being used successfully in some areas. This option recognises that often parking spaces and vehicles are not in use- providing an opportunity to maximise the use of the space and vehicle by sharing use between multiple people/ activities.


Location

How well reduced or no parking will work in practise also depends on the location. How far away are shops or service providers? Can you easily walk to these? What’s the local public transport like? Can people easily walk to a bus stop or train station? Do these have regular services? Convenience for future residents is key!

You can find out more about public transport in Auckland from visiting the Auckland Transport website.


Areas for other modes

Have you provided space for bicycles or scooters to be kept securely? These forms of transport are becoming more popular, especially if jobs, goods and service providers are close by. Having regard to these modes in your project design, such as for access and storage, will help make it more attractive to future users.


Storage

Will there be enough space for storage? Many people use parts of garages for storage of bins, gardening equipment and general storage such as the old Christmas tree. Do you propose other areas where these can be stored? There are many ways to design spaces and utilise unusual areas to create more storage. These are more practical considerations and impact on how the future owners/ tenants can use and enjoy the new dwellings.


Impacts of parking

I don’t think anyone would disagree that large parking areas are rarely attractive. Does providing parking, in particular higher levels of parking, impact on the amenity you’re creating for future residents and neighbours? Do you end up with buildings plonked in the middle of an unattractive car park? Car parking and access can also take up valuable land that is better used for more dwellings, businesses, pocket parks or other green spaces.


What’s right for you?

There is definiltey a balance to be struck with car parking and it’s a decision which can heavily impact how your development looks, feels and how successful an urban environment is created.


Need more advice?

If you need someone to guide you through the planning aspects of your developments or think you need a resource consent, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Planning Plus. You can contact us on hello@planningplus.co.nz or (09) 427 9966. We also have hundreds of other blogs on our website that can help you with your resource consent journey.


Disclaimer

As with all our blogs this information is preliminary in nature only and correct at the time of writing. It is not intended to substitute for your own investigations or obtaining specific advice on your proposal from a professional.

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