New housing developments in Southend could have to provide electric vehicle charging points if new planning powers are introduced in the future.
Southend Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019 and electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a priority action within the council’s Green City Action Plan, which sets out a five-year plan to work towards net zero carbon emissions.
The cabinet report is split into two parts. The first considers an interim policy, which would provide the planning department with greater powers to be able to encourage developers to include additional electric vehicle charging infrastructure for any new developments providing 10 or more car parking spaces.
The second part of the report recommends a four-week public consultation period for a supplementary planning document, which, if approved, would require mandatory electric vehicle charging infrastructure on any new development with associated car parking spaces, rather than just encouraging it through the interim policy.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, business, culture and planning, said: “Year-on-year we are seeing more vehicle owners turn to electric vehicles. As the local authority, we have a legal duty to carry out work which will help reduce carbon emissions, something that was explicitly highlighted in our Green City Action Plan.
“If approved, the interim policy will give planning officers greater influence in regard to electric vehicle charging points for all new developments. If we do, as recommended, proceed with a public consultation for the supplementary planning document, we could have much stronger powers to ensure developers contribute to the increase of electrical vehicle infrastructure.
“Reducing carbon emissions across the town to help us reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 is something we as a council are committed to achieving, but we know we cannot do this as an authority alone.
“We need developers, schools, residents and businesses to all play their part in this.”