2.8 Vehicle chargers

2.8.1 Residential developments

Prior to the submission of a planning application, the provision of vehicle chargepoints should be fully considered and discussed with us.

On residential developments, the following is expected as a minimum:

  • at least one dedicated car charger per dwelling; and
  • for developments including community facilities, passive provision for the installation of vehicle chargers on the public road, at agreed locations. A contribution will be requested towards the purchase and installation by the Council, for chargers for which we will assume maintenance responsiblity. The passive provision will take the form of a cabinet for a TT Earthed, 100A 3-phase supply, together with an area of hardstanding for the charger adjacent to the carriageway and not on the footway, the position of which should ensure that charging cables will not create a trip hazard on pedestrian desire-lines. The parking bays associated with these chargers should be fully accessible.

On driveways, we expect 7kW rated Type 2 chargers to be provided, either socketed or tethered.

However, we also recognise that not all new dwellings will have driveways and indeed, this is not something that we are promoting as we move away from accepting developments which build in car-dependency. Therefore we expect developers to find creative ways of providing affordable and convenient access to charging for new residents of homes without driveways, and some examples of these can be found here. East Lothian Council do not intend to take responsibility for the ongoing maintenance or monitoring of any chargers in new residential areas; this must covered by either individuals or factors.

Even for houses without dedicated parking we expect a 1:1 ratio of dwellings to chargers. This provides sufficient capacity to allow for cars being parked up for weeks at a time, without it impacting on the neighours' access to charging. Factoring arrangements should include provision for dealing with 'hogging' of charging spaces, should this become an issue.

We expect developers to engage with electricity providers to ensure that the entire electricity supply infrastructure will have sufficient capacity to enable all chargepoints to operate simultaneously, although not necessarily at full rated output, i.e. it would be acceptable for 7kW devices to be load-managed and output as low as 2kW when in synchronous use.

Further guidance and local examples of good practice are available here.

2.8.2 Residential developments – Council Housing

The requirement is still for one charger per dwelling, but East Lothian Council (rather than a private factor) will maintain the chargers in the communal parking areas.

2.8.3 Non-residential developments

Depending on the use of the car park, in some cases we would not seek any charging infrastructure other than for staff and fleet use.

However, on the majority of sites, we will require at least one 7kW vehicle charger in every new non-residential development and, where more than 10 parking spaces are provided, we expect developers to follow current Building Standards (Section 7.2.1) and install chargers in 10% of parking spaces as well as providing "no-dig" enabling infrastructure to an additional 40% of spaces. The same ratios should be applied to accessible parking spaces.

2.8.4 Electricity supply for chargers

Developers should engage with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to ensure that the entire electricity supply infrastructure will have sufficient capacity to enable all chargepoints to operate simultaneously. The developer will be required to meet the costs of any upgrades needed. Large developments with dedicated electricity sub-stations should specify the sub-station to a sufficient capacity to cater fully for all EV charging requirements.

2.8.5 Accessing chargers

Tariffs for electricity from private chargers should be set at an appropriate rate. Private chargers which are publicly available should be capable of pay-as-you-go transactions.

2.8.6 Planning policy on chargers for new developements

Police T31 of the Local Development Plan 2018 is clear that the Council encourages and supports the principle of introducing electric vehicle charging points around both existing and proposed community facilities such as schools and retail areas, including from developers as part of new developments that contain such facilities or area.

Further, in 2019, the Council declared a Climate Emergency, committing us to working with our communities and partners towards making East Lothian a carbon neutral county as soon as reasonably practicable.  As such, all subsequent relevant planning applications have been granted on the condition that they are accompanied by a report detailing how Carbon Emissions from the build will be reduced, where it is feasible and appropriate in design terms. This report shall include details of the provision charging infrastructure for each property (presented as both a table and a plan drawing). 

The paragraphs 2.8.1 to 2.8.5 above set out what we expect to be feasible and appropriate for charging infrastructure for all developments granted planning permission since 2019.

Section 4.22 of the Supplementary Planning Guidance published in 2020, is clear that a 1:1 ratio of charging points to dwellings is expected, with addtional providion for developments with more than 49 dwellings.

Additionally, the Building Standards Handbook states in Section 7.2.1 that, from June 2023, "Where parking ... is provided within the curtilage of a dwelling, a minimum of one electric vehicle charge point socket with an output rating of not less than 7 kW should be provided adjacent to the parking space." Where parking is not provided in curtilage, then it uses the following example: "A development of 25 flats in a single building with shared parking facilities which contain 35 parking spaces, two of which are accessible parking spaces. ... In this example, 26 parking spaces would require access to a charge point socket (one socket per dwelling plus one socket per 4 accessible parking spaces). The remaining 9 spaces would be provided only with enabling infrastructure."

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