'CRITICAL' TRANSPORT corridors and sites will be protected from development by wide-ranging revisions to the planning system proposed in Monday's White Paper.
Both existing and potential sites 'critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choices' will be safeguarded in development plans according the 'New deal for transport'.
Protection will also be extended to 'sites now surplus to transport requirements'. The White Paper explains: 'Alternative uses related to sustainable transport should be considered first.'
Further changes to development plan policies, which will be integrated with new local transport plans, will see extended restrictions on car parking spaces for new developments. The White Paper states: 'Parking standards should be devised and applied having regard to the accessibility of locations by modes other than the car.'
The change in emphasis will see developers working outside major conurbations having to consider alternative transport access, according to Surrey County Council land use and transportation policy manager Tony Bolden. 'This approach is widespread in metropolitan areas', he said, 'but it is not common practice in the shires.'
One of the most important planning tools in delivering an integrated transport system will be a revised PPG13 - the planning guidance note dealing with transport. This was first published in 1994 and aimed to reduce the need to travel by car.
But Bolden claimed 'the message had not been taken up' and there was an urgent need to 'reinforce it'.
Finally, the White Paper expresses concern over the way local roads proposals.