Developers Challenge Bradford Council Electric Car Policy

The local authority says the policy will improve air quality in the district.

Bradford Council’s policy of requiring new homes to include electric car charging points is being tested by a developer.

In recent years the authority has made it a condition of all housing applications that include car parking to have a charging point.

But now a developer has submitted a planning application to remove that condition from a development of houses in Shipley, saying the charging points are not needed, as none of the new residents have electric cars.

In 2016 Bradford Council granted planning permission to Oak Tree Developments for the demolition of the Bradford Hebrew Congregation Synagogue on Springhurst Road and the construction of 14 houses in its place.

One of the conditions of the approval was that a plan for electric vehicle charging points in each of the homes be approved by the Council before the homes were completed.

Planning officers said the condition was necessary “to ensure the development is constructed in an appropriate sustainable manner which takes into consideration air quality with in the district.”

The Council’s Low Emission Strategy, published in 2013, says: “A key theme of the National Planning Policy Framework is that developments should enable future occupiers to make green vehicle choices and it explicitly states that low emission vehicle infrastructure, including electric vehicle recharging, should be provided.

“This guidance seeks to develop consistent electric vehicle recharging standards for new developments in Bradford.”

The policy says that in new developments there should be one charging point for each house with a dedicated parking space.

Since it was implemented, charging points have been a condition of planning approvals for hundreds of houses across the Bradford district.

Current Government targets are for all vehicles sold in the UK to be electric or hybrid by 2040 – with no new petrol or diesel vehicles for sale from then.

With the homes now built, Oak Tree has submitted an application to the Council calling for this condition to be removed from its planning approval.

Their application gives a number of reasons they believe the condition should be removed, saying: “None of the existing residents living on the development have an electric or plug-in hybrid car.

“There is no need for this facility to be used by residents.

“Such a facility would encourage non-residents to trespass and use the facility illegally.

“Any of the residents, if they so wish, can install their own personal charging points.”

It is thought to be the first challenge to the Council’s planning policies for charging points.

One local councillor has criticised the proposals, saying electric charging points were vital to encourage people to make the switch to greener transport.

Shipley Councillor Martin Love, who represents the Green Party, said the lack of charging points in the development had been raised with him.

He said: “Having electric car charging points is Council policy, it is common across the district.

“When this plan was approved the developer agreed to put charging points in as part of the conditions.

“Recently they’ve build the Swanside development near the canal with charging points.

“If these plans are approved it will make the Council look stupid, we can’t scrap a policy for one development.”

A decision on the application is expected in late July.

The need to reduce emissions is particularly pertinent in the Shipley area. Recent studies have found that air in several areas of the town breached legal levels for pollution, including Nitrogen Dioxide.

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