How to approach your development: Think Parking, Not Bedrooms!

When pursuing your development, its natural to think in terms of bedrooms  – eg. “I would like to develop my site into five, 3 bedroom units”.

But did you know that when you think bedrooms, Council planners are thinking parking?

What is the link between bedrooms and parking that you should know about?

 

How to approach your development: Think Parking, Not Bedrooms!

The classic mistake we’ve noticed people make is under-estimating how many car parks are required for their new development.

If we were to approach Council planners with the above example development of five, 3 bedroom units, an immediate question would form in our Council planner’s mind:

“Does your development allow for:

  • 10 Resident car spaces,
  • 1 Visitor car space, and
  • Bicycle spaces?”

What are the rules that Council are using?

How can Council be so specific before knowing any of the details of your proposal?

The answer to our question lies in the Victorian State Planning Scheme.

Clause 55.03, Standard B16 (Parking Provision) states that:

“Car parking for residents should be provided as follows:

  • One space for each one or two bedroom dwelling.
  • Two spaces for each three or more bedroom dwelling, with one space under cover.
  • Studies or studios that are separate rooms must be counted as bedrooms.
  • Developments of five or more dwellings should provide visitor car parking of one space for every five dwellings. The spaces should be clearly marked as visitor parking.
  • In developments of five or more dwellings, bicycle parking spaces should be provided.”

The correct way to approach your development

Simply put, car parks (& associated properties such as driveways and turning circles) take up space.

If you can reduce the car parking required, you can increase your available building envelope.

This is particularly pertinent when land is at a premium.

When approaching your development:

  • DONT: Think bedrooms, then force parking.
  • DO: Think parking, then derive bedrooms.

Think Parking: Case Study

Say you own a large site that you are considering for development.

The ‘think bedrooms’ approach:

Since you’ve always lived in 3 bedroom homes, you decide to develop three, 3 bedroom units on your site.

This decision therefore forces you to provide a double car space for each of the three dwellings (ie. six car spaces in total).

The ‘think parking’ approach:

By ‘thinking parking’, you realise that as long as each dwelling only had a single car space, it is actually possible to fit four dwellings on the site .

You therefore approach Council with a proposal for four 2 bedroom units (ie. four car spaces in total).

Parking Provision: Conclusion

When pursuing your development, its natural to think in terms of bedrooms.

However we should remember that when we think bedrooms, Council planners are thinking parking.

So when approaching your development, do the reverse:

  • DON’T: Think bedrooms, then force parking.
  • DO: Think parking, then derive bedrooms.

How many carparks will your next development be?