Electric vehicle charging points approved for council car parks


12 electric vehicle charging points at Calthorpe Street car park take a step forward

by Andy Mitchell, Local Democracy Reporter

New electric vehicle charging points across council car parks in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington have been granted planning consent.

A total of 26 charging points are set to be created with 12 at Calthorpe Street, Banbury, an increase to eight at Claremont Car Park, Victoria Road, Bicester, and an increase to six at Kidlington Centre Car Park on High Street, Kidlington.

The applications came before Cherwell District Council’s planning committee because they are on council-owned land.

The only serious concern was over the impact on a conservation site near to Calthorpe Street, Banbury.

Planning officer Sarah Greenall said feedback from council experts indicated that the plans “could potentially harm the character of the conservation area”.

“Given the application is within a conservation area, the biggest constraint is going to be the design,” she added.

“The applicant has agreed to consider mitigation, it is going to be handled appropriately so while there is some harm, the benefits of providing more sustainable options for transport would outweigh that harm.”

Councillors decided on balance to pass the proposals in line with the recommendation of planning officers, with Councillor Cassi Perry (Lab, Banbury Cross and Neithrop) relieved to see progress towards cleaner ways of fuelling vehicles.

“Councillor Hannah Banfield, Councillor Steve Kilsby (Banbury Town Council) and myself have been working on trying to get electric charging points in the town centre for three-and-a-half years,” she said while making the case for approval.

“Every time we nearly get there it falls at the last hurdle because of there being a listed building nearby or someone objects to the location.

“There is a very active local community group that has been working very hard to try to get these in a town centre that is full of listed buildings and beautiful places. There is no perfect place and we need these.

“Four separate schemes have fallen through Banbury Town Council over the past couple of years so I would be delighted to go back and say one of them has met the standard for both councils.”

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