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Development management policies

DM32 Encouraging Car Free and Low Car Housing

Policy DM32 Car Free or Low Car Housing

Residential development must be car free in the following cases:

a) on sites identified in the Site allocations plan for car free housing;

b) on sites situated within the city centre primary retail area; and

c) on sites which are within a controlled parking zone, and where vehicular access cannot be provided under DM30 due to the site’s location adjacent to a principal or main distributor route (as defined in NATS).


The development of car free or low car housing will be acceptable within the following areas:

a) sites within the controlled parking zones in and surrounding the city centre;

b) on other sites within 200 metres of a bus stop offering a service to the city centre of at least a 10 minute daytime and 30 minute evening frequency; where it can be demonstrated that the provision of reduced levels of car parking on-site would not result in or exacerbate problems of on street parking or traffic congestion; or

c) on other sites within or immediately adjacent to district centres, giving preference to schemes where the inclusion of car free or low car housing can contribute to the beneficial reuse and regeneration of vacant or underused buildings within the centre, subject to the provisions of policy DM21.


The inclusion or provision of (or access to) a car club space or spaces (and where appropriate a car club vehicle) will be taken into account in assessing any proposal.

Supplementary text

32.1    The NPPF requires that development should promote the efficient use of land, and ensure good design. Residential and non-residential parking standards, if used, should take into account the accessibility of the development, its type, mix and use, local car ownership; the availability of and opportunities for public transport and an overall need to reduce the use of high emission vehicles.

32.2    Within the more central parts of the city, housing densities are high, and car ownership low, whilst services and facilities are mostly available within walking distance, and most locations around the urban area are easily accessible by public transport. In addition, the central part of the city is covered by controlled parking zones, and new developments are not eligible for parking permits. Furthermore, historic street patterns often make it difficult to provide parking which is visually appropriate to the historic context of the centre.

32.3    There is therefore significant opportunity to develop sites with limited parking provision, and to offer (but not impose) car-free living as a lifestyle choice. This can lead an increase in the density of development in sustainable locations, and reduce build costs. For the purpose of this policy, ‘low car housing’ refers to development where the provision of car parking is less than one space per dwelling.


  • NPPF, CLG 2012: Section 4: Promoting sustainable transport: Support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and congestion, exploit opportunities for the use of sustainable transport modes.
  • JCS Policy 9: Strategy for growth in the Norwich Policy Area.
  • Norwich area transportation strategy (NATS).