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Plans for electric car charging requirement at every new house built

This could be a common sight at every new home built in Christchurch
This could be a common sight at every new home built in Christchurch

EVERY house or bungalow built in Christchurch will have to have an electric car charger, if proposals are approved.

The idea was in a new parking policy document backed last week by BCP Council’s cabinet and would apply across the conurbation, including Bournemouth and Poole, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Councillors said the new rules, which would also relax parking requirements for town centre developments, “made sense” but they still need approval of the full council before coming into force.

The document will be used to determine decisions on planning applications and has been put together to replace the three policies the new council inherited for each town last year.

But it also followed concerns that parking rules in town centres were too strict, leading to developers focusing too much on student accommodation at the expense of standard housing.

Cllr Mike Greene, cabinet member for transport and sustainability, said it was also an opportunity to contribute towards national and local carbon neutrality aims.

“[This] either reduces – or in some cases eliminates – parking requirements for residential developments in town centres,” he said.

“It does it for two reasons: the first is that our roads are incredibly congested and we will be required by the government to build new dwellings.

“If we allow the rate of car ownership to grow at the same rate as our residential development then what is already a very serious problem will get worse in a very short period of time.

“The second is we are also supporting the council’s – and the government’s – commitment to the climate emergency.”

Should the new document be adopted by the full council in the new year, then it will require all new houses and bungalows to have at least one car charger.

Parking requirements for town centre residential developments will also be either scrapped or relaxed in a bid to increase the financial viability to developers.

Cllr Phil Broadhead, cabinet member for regeneration, said current parking requirements were “sending the wrong message”.

“It often drives the unviability of these schemes and we’ve been in a position before where we’ve been driving away the very developments we want because of the out-of-date parking requirements,” he said. “This will unlock a lot of that.”

The document was unanimously approved by the cabinet and will now go to the full council for a final decision on whether it should be adopted.

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