Car free developments

The council's 'car free homes'  planning policy was introduced in Tower Hamlets in the late 1990s to help reduce traffic congestion and better manage the limited supply of on-street parking spaces. This initiative also helps to reduce the level of air pollution from motor vehicles and encourages more people to walk, cycle and go by public transport.   

The Transport for London (TfL) cycle hire scheme ( and local pay-as-you-go car clubs ( are also now available to help you get around in healthier, greener ways.

Parking assistance if you live in a car-free property

If your property is subject to a car-free development agreement made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 you will not normally be able to apply for any type of on-street parking permit and only limited scratchcards, unless you are the holder of a disabled person’s (blue) badge, or if you meet the eligibility criteria as a social housing decantee.

It is the responsibility of your solicitor or landlord to advise you of this agreement before you purchase or rent the property.

What the council has decided to do

We have listened to the problems and issues raised by our residents, and offer the following parking assistance to those who live in a car-free development:

  1. A temporary resident permit to allow a contractor (such as a builder, electrician or plumber) to carry out work on the property at a cost of £6 a day. To qualify you must provide written proof of the work to be carried out and the vehicle details. 
  2. Maximum of three books of visitor scratchcards in a rolling 12-month period.
  3. The Permit Transfer Scheme (PTS) helps some families move to larger, social rented car-free homes by allowing them to retain one on-street resident car parking permit, subject to the PTS criteria outlined below.

This scheme is subject to all of the Permit Transfer Scheme criteria being met by the resident. These criteria are:

  1. Applies to residents moving to 3 bedrooms or larger social rented car free homes*
  2. One on-street resident parking permit is allowed per household.
  3. You must have held your on-street resident parking permit for at least 1 year prior to moving home.
  4. You must renew your on-street parking permit and not let it lapse to remain eligible.
  5. You must provide proof that you are eligible – i.e. the duly signed and dated approved tenancy agreement.
  6. The scheme started on Monday September 5, 2011. You will not be eligible for this scheme if you have moved before this date.

* The property you are moving to must have at least 3 bedrooms and must also have more bedrooms than your current property.