Newly built house? Parking space is no longer a matter of course

Parking is no longer a priority in many new construction projects. In Nijmegen, residents are clashing with the municipality and the project developer over this. Image: Canva

Project developers are increasingly getting the green light to build new homes without (private) parking spaces. Municipal authorities allow this in order to obtain adequate and affordable housing faster. The downside is conflicts with the population, as is the case in Nijmegen.

Car parking takes up space and land is scarce and expensive. This makes it attractive for project developers to build homes without their own parking spaces. In cities such as Amsterdam and Utrecht, national parking standards (from 1 to 1.8 parking spaces per home) have already been revised downward in recent years. In the east of the country, Nijmegen and Arnhem are also working on new construction projects that no longer include (private) parking spaces.

At the Thuishaven project in Nijmegen – part of the larger Havenkade new construction area – parking is clearly prohibited. Part of the 324 owner occupied and rental apartments in Thuishaven is now complete, and the accompanying parking garage doesn’t have enough space for everyone. Gilderlander.

There is no private parking and no parking permit

Residents who had recently moved into one of the 38 completed owner-occupied flats in the development knew they would not have their own parking, but relied on a parking permit from the municipality. This will not happen, according to the municipality, because there are few parking spaces in the neighborhood anyway. A big setback for buyers, especially because paid parking (€13.80 per hour) was introduced in the area during the construction of the houses.

According to De Gelderlander, these are mostly people in their 30s with families and work who cannot do without a car. They just encountered no clearance during the delivery. Some residents may already be considering moving because now they have to park very far away.

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The project developer, Bouwfonds Area Development (BPD) and the municipality are pointing fingers at each other. The BPD indicates that nothing was promised regarding the parking at the time of the sale and holds the municipality responsible for changing the parking policy. But the council says it was clear from the start that there would be no parking spaces or permits and that the developer had to inform buyers of this.

Walsprung, a new residential area north of Nijmegen where thousands of homes are under construction, also does not offer its own parking spaces. A resident told De Gelderlander that there were only 15 parking spaces for 50 apartments. Parking in front of others in the neighborhood seemed to be the only option. “They don’t wait for it either. When all the houses here are finished, it will only get worse.”

Fewer parking lots to solve the housing shortage

A few kilometers away, in Arnhem, the city council also gave last summer green light For homes that do not have a parking space. This concerns homes (most often apartments) in the city center and around public transport hubs. The city council says that refraining from large parking lots and garages for these new construction projects contributes to solving the housing shortage.

The province of Gelderland praises the choice of fewer parking spaces in inner-city developments. In total there should be in Gelderland 100,000 new homes by 2030. Cities like Nijmegen and Arnhem, but also the smaller Veenendaal have reached their limits. The interrupt put package advice Municipalities on the new parking policy. We want to speed up housing construction, but parking standards often cause delays and delays. “The parking space for each house is plenty,” Rep. Peter Keres said in the spring when the package was introduced.

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Living without cars is wishful thinking.

Cars take up a lot of space in residential areas: including streets and sidewalks, they account for 40 to 60% of the public area. The car takes up a lot of public space, so it’s not surprising that municipalities are considering reducing visibility on the street, says Walther Plos van Amstel, a lecturer in city logistics at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Still, living without cars is “wishful thinking,” he says. Many people really can’t do without a car, for example because of their job. Only if three Bs (availability of alternatives, affordability, and reliability) are met, says Plos van Amstel. People want to know if they can get somewhere on time, if they can continue to provide informal care to their parents and if they can go home on time afterwards. “The car is very reliable.”

Municipalities are now considering alternatives such as shared cars and bicycles. This number is growing rapidly.

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