29/7/21 – Government re-emphasises commitment to Sustainable Development

Last week we saw the Government publish a revised National Planning Policy Framework. One of the changes it made was to re-emphasise the Government’s commitment to the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, as agreed by members of the United Nations.

As we move toward the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (otherwise referred to as COP26 – the 26th Conference of Parties), which is due to be held in Glasgow (31 October to 12 November 2021), we are likely to see a number of announcements and commitments to help tackle climate change. Researchers are currently meeting this week to finalise a key climate science study intended to serve as a ‘wake-up call’ to governments ahead of the Climate Change Conference.

Against this backdrop, we wished to focus this Planning update upon the future requirement for Electric Vehicle Charging.

In late 2019 the Department for Transport and Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) ran a joint consultation on proposals to alter Building Regulations for existing residential and non-residential premises for electric vehicles (EV) charge points and associated infrastructure. This outlined that from 2025, existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 parking spaces would need at least 1 charge point to be installed. For non-residential buildings proposed (and buildings undergoing a major renovation or material change in use) with more than 10 parking spaces, developers will need to ensure that ducting infrastructure is installed for at least 1 in 5 parking spaces. Whilst for proposed new residential buildings with more than 10 associated parking spaces, developers would need to ensure that ducting infrastructure is installed for every parking space.

These changes will essentially be implemented through amendments to Building Regulations, and enacted through the Electric Vehicle Charging Points (New Buildings) Bill. The Bill has passed its first reading in the House of Commons on 21 June 2021 and is scheduled for a second reading on 22 October 2021.

This coincides with Government having finalised consultation on Smart charging for Electric Vehicles on 14 July 2021, with Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, confirming new legislation will be introduced to ensure electric plugs meet ‘smart charging standards’.

He stated the “The transition to EVs is central to government’s net-zero commitment but will also increase demand on the electricity system”, and that “Smart charging can help mitigate these impacts. This legislation will play an important role in driving the uptake of smart technology, which can save consumers money on their energy bills.”

The Government has defined smart charging as shifting the time of day when an EV is being topped up. Charging stations will modulate the rate of charge at different times in response to electricity tariff information. This means drivers may be charged different rates for topping up their cars at peak times, such as between 5pm and 7pm when people return home from work.

Aitchison Raffety are currently acting for BP Oil UK helping to install EV super charging points across their network of service stations around the UK.

For more information on EV charging please contact our office on 01604 880163, or alternatively via email at planning@argroup.co.uk.