Despite Clause 52.06 Car Parking specifying the required aisle-widths, car parking dimensions and other vehicle movement design standards, more and more Councils are requesting sweep path diagrams be provided with permit applications. Requests for such diagrams are especially prevalent in multi dwelling developments where vehicles are required to enter and alight a site in a forward direction.
These diagrams can be prepared using automated applications that confirm layouts and ensure the efficient and safe manoeuvring of vehicles.
It will be the experience of regular permit applicants that many Council’s often prefer no corrective movement (a “four-point-turn”) when cars are accessing or egressing a parking space. Some Engineering Departments consider any more than two vehicle movements unacceptable. And argue that residents and visitors are often unwilling to use such spaces due to perceived difficulties in manoeuvring vehicles in and out.
However, a ‘corrective manoeuvre’ is permitted under the relevant standards in AS2890.1:2004 for residential car parking.
This conflict was clarified by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in Karl Degering & Associates Pty Ltd v Bayside (2017) VCAT 372, in which the Tribunal was forced to consider the appropriate interpretation of the relevant Australian Standard.
In Degering, Council had submitted that a proposed four-point turn to exit a car stacker space would not be permitted by the relevant Australian Standard. However, the Tribunal took a different view, and whilst noting that the Standard did not define what a “point turn” was, surmised the difference in interpretation hangs on whether a vehicle could:
“….reverse-forward-reverse out of a car space (in the event that a ‘point-turn’ means a vehicle movement), or reverse-forward-reverse-forward out of a car space (if a ‘point-turn’ means a change of direction)”.
The Tribunal went on to find that:
“When vehicles reverse either into or out of a car parking space (and they must always reverse when coming either in or out of a 90˚ car space), the use of a corrective manoeuvre must result in a total of four movements, otherwise the series of movements cannot be completed”.
The Tribunal also noted, that of more importance was whether access was convenient and safe. The Decision Guidelines of Clause 52.06-10 of the Victorian Planning Provisions include:
The ease and safety with which vehicles access and circulate within the parking area.
In summary, these findings show that a corrective manoeuvre, or “4 point turn”, is permissible in residential development where car parking access and circulation is , generally, considered to be in accordance with other requirements and provides for safe and efficient access and egress.
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