On charge

The owner of a listed building in a Devon coastal village has had a proposed parking area in front of his house turned down at appeal (DCS Number 400-034-570). The appellant explained that ‘we wish to facilitate an electrical vehicle charging point and associated off road parking for the property to meet the imminent needs of changing legislation for future car design’. 

The inspector held, however, that the albeit modest loss of the roadside stone wall’s historic fabric, the excavation back into the site, and the loss of enclosure to the street, would undermine the significance of both the listed building and the conservation area as designated heritage assets. This harm, he reasoned, would be exacerbated by the presence of a standing vehicle within the parking bay, which would partly interfere with views of the property from the carriageway.

The inspector acknowledged that the provision of a parking space might reduce traffic congestion in the village, which he saw was an acute issue. He also accepted that the electric charging point would support our transition to a more energy efficient, low carbon society. He considered, however, that the benefits of a single parking space were inherently small and it was not essential that the property was served by a parking bay. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that its occupants would not also own and park a further vehicle elsewhere in the village, nor that the charging point would be used, at least in the short term. The inspector decided that the benefits fell decisively short of justifying the harm that would be caused.

The authors of the electric vehicle legislation did think all this through…..didn’t they?

There is a section on electric vehicle charging points at 13.647 of DCP Online.