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Commercial Wharf

Commercial Wharf is a popular area on the Plymouth Waterfront comprising a mixture of business units, including food and beverage with outdoor seating.  As a result, Commercial Wharf experiences high levels of pedestrian footfall where, to ensure a safe environment for all who work and visit the area, vehicular access is strictly controlled.   

Any vehicle requiring access to Commercial Wharf is required to obtain a valid Commercial Wharf permit.  Permits are to support the servicing of businesses on the Wharf where it is absolutely necessary the activity requires the use of vehicle; parking on the Wharf is strictly prohibited.  Vehicles without a valid permit or with a permit but not complying with the terms and conditions of use will be subject to enforcement. Upon activation of a permit you will be provided with access through the gated access.  If you are delivering to one of the businesses on Commercial Wharf, the business will be able to provide you access.


Each permit costs £30 a year. 


Your permit will not be activated until you have provided your public liability insurance (minimum of £5,000,000) and your reason for access has been approved. Even though you have applied for a permit, you still cannot access Commercial Wharf until you have received a permit activation email notification.  

This is a virtual permit so there is nothing to display in the vehicle. Officers can check your permit by entering your vehicle registration on their handheld computer.


You can renew your permit up to two months before your current one expires. You will need the permit number and PIN of the permit you want to renew. Once you have paid and confirmed that you accept the terms and conditions your permit will be instantly renewed, starting when your previous permit expires.  

Change of vehicle registration 

If you change your vehicle registration, you must update your parking permit to your new registration number. You will need the permit number and PIN of the permit you want to update. Allow up to two working days for your change request to be processed. Even though you have applied for a change you still cannot access Commercial Wharf until you have received an email advising the change has taken affect.

Terms and conditions 

  • Public liability insurance (minimum of £5,000,000) must be in place to cover any vehicle entering the pedestrian zone.
  • The access gate must be closed and locked after accessing or leaving Commercial Wharf.
  • Any lost keys must be immediately reported to the Council and there will be a charge of £10 for replacement.
  • Vehicles should only access Commercial Wharf when pedestrian footfall is at its lowest.

  • Vehicles driven on Commercial Wharf must be driven slowly, not exceeding 10mph and with due care and consideration of the pedestrian who have right of way. Look out for children who may behave unpredictably. 
  • The Commercial Wharf permit is valid only for the purpose of loading and unloading bulky and heavy goods to the premises on Commercial Wharf providing the activity is continuous. 
  • The vehicle can only stop for the time necessary to carry out the act of loading or unloading. 
  • The loading or unloading should be completed as quickly as possible and the vehicle moved immediately after finishing. 
  • If loading or unloading activity is not seen, the vehicle will be considered waiting and may result in a Penalty Charge Notice being issued. 
  • The vehicle should not be left where it would cause an obstruction or danger to pedestrians or other vulnerable users.  
  • The vehicle must not exceed 1525 kg unladen weight and always be roadworthy with valid road tax, insurance and MOT.
  • Plymouth City Council cannot guarantee access will always be available to Commercial Wharf. 
  • The Commercial Wharf permits remain the property of the council at all times, are non-transferable, not refundable and not for resale. 
  • For the purpose of audit a permit holder may be asked to produce documentary evidence at a later date to demonstrate their eligibility. 
  • Plymouth City Council will process all information in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The authority will use any data collected for the purpose of processing and validating the relevant permit and other associated purposes. We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share/check this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. These bodies include other council departments, other public authorities and other enforcement agencies.