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Action by local authorities to reduce the number of cars on urban streets has resulted in prices for garages and lo...
Action by local authorities to reduce the number of cars on urban streets has resulted in prices for garages and lock-ups rocketing, reported Sunday Business (p26).

Figures from the London Residential Research show that current prices in central London for parking spaces start at around£15,000 and rise to£35,000.

One such council is Camden LBC, which recently persuaded one developer, Berkeley Homes, to build the country's first private scheme with no parking spaces at all.

Richard Finch, a transport policy planner, in Camden's environment department, said: 'In November last year, green policies were extended to housing. We now have eight housing developments with no parking underway.'

What Berkeley agreed to in order to get consent was not only that it would not build any parking spaces, but residents would not be able to apply to the council for a residential parking permit.

Rosie Brocklehurst, head of campaigns for Camden says: 'We are talking about an area of social awareness. If a developer markets a development in these terms there is no guarantee that it will mean much to buyers, but the more councils that strike these deals the easier it will become.'

Camden is keen to take a carrot and stick approach to cutting down on car use by reducing parking opportunities, but in Westminster LBC the policy is different - the authority still requires at least one parking space to be built with each new flat, a rule that has long attracted developers to obtain change of use consents from commercial buildings to residential.

This ambivalence is different councils' policies is summed up by Ms Brocklehurst. 'Camden's views are in line with the government's and with the Don't Choke Britain Campaign. We're not anti-car, we're anti pollution. But when it comes to parking we've got a split personality.'

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