3.5 Non-residential developments

3.5.1 Frontage loading

Where a Non-residential Street provides frontage access to small industrial units then there is a requirement for operational space between the rear of the footway and the front face of the buildings. This space is to ensure that loading/unloading operations, skip storage and so on, can take place without obstructing the carriageway. An element of this operational space may count towards the parking requirements of the development. A typical provision of such space is illustrated below.

Diagram of standard loading arrangement for industrial sites

Industrial sites - standard layout

In in-fill development it may not always be possible to achieve these standards for service areas. In these cases, we shuold be approached to discuss whether a relaxation of standards is appropriate.

For developments involving larger industrial premises the above layouts are inappropriate and a physical barrier should be provided between road or footway and operational space.

3.5.2 Access to premises

Vehicular access to commercial premises will normally be taken from the public road via a footway crossing designed to cater for the anticipated traffic volume and maximum weight of vehicle. For major industrial developments, access should be by means of a service road connecting to the main road network at a T-junction. 

Alternatively, a raised table giving pedestrian priority may be appropriate.

Access roads and parking may be adopted if access by the public is not restricted. For example, in the centre of towns with high parking demand this may allow the Council to control indiscriminate parking. Contact us for guidance on this aspect.

3.5.3 Servicing provision

All new development and redevelopment should, where possible, be designed so that premises can be serviced from vehicles parked off the public road.

In the case of large retail developments, service access should be segregated from access to customer parking areas in the interests of safety and operational convenience.

Where buildings directly abut the public road at their frontage, as do many shops, servicing facilities should be provided at the rear of the premises or by means of grade separation.

The size and layout of all service areas should be such that whenever possible, all vehicles can enter and leave in a forward gear and do not need to reverse on to the public road.

Diagram suggesting suitable layouts for end-loading service bays

End-loading service bays

3.5.4 Gradients

Gradients on ramps within service areas should not exceed 12 per cent on straight sections and should be less where there is significant horizontal curvature. At breaks of slope, a transitional grade not exceeding 5 per cent should be employed and care should be taken with headroom to allow for the bridging effect of long, high vehicles. A maximum gradient of 2.5 per cent is appropriate for areas where vehicles will be parked for loading/unloading, while the minimum gradient will be governed by drainage considerations.

3.5.5 Kerbside loading

Where vehicles are to be loaded or unloaded while parked parallel to the kerb in service roads, parking bays 3 metres wide and at least 3 metres longer than the vehicles using them should be clearly marked out and the width of the service road should be increased as detailed in Table 6.

Service road widths for kerbside loading

Description of service road

Two-way working

One-way working

Loading bays on one side only



Loading Bays on both sides



Note: These webpages are for reference by developers of housing and employment sites in East Lothian. 
They provide guidance on transport infrastructure against which Planning Applications will be assessed 
and evaluated, and set out East Lothian Council's procedures regarding the construction and adoption of 
new roads in accordance with current legislation. 
These pages supersede all previous versions of our Standards for Development Roads document. 

01/07/2023 Document release