Housing developers 'should put electric vehicle charging points on all roads'

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Housing developers could be required to install electric vehicle charging points on all roads of a new project.

Transport minister John Hayes said he is willing to hold talks with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) about a suggestion to change the planning rules.

Labour MP Helen Goodman floated the idea alongside calls to require charging points to be installed at railway stations and publicly-owned car parks.

Mr Hayes replied: "I think that's a very good point. I'll happily have discussions with my colleagues in DCLG.

"There are issues about the inconsistent provision of on-street charging.

"That is partly due to planning and partly due to the fact that some local authorities are more willing to install charging points than others - that's a discretionary matter for planners at the moment.

"It does seem to me to be entirely appropriate to consider some of the things you have suggested so I'm more than happy to have those discussions."

Former minister Ms Goodman, speaking in the Commons during the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill second reading debate, had said: "I bought a Nissan Leaf last month and I was very struck by the fact that to have your own charging point, you need off-street parking.

"That's not possible for anyone that lives in a flat or a terraced house.

"So will ministers please consider in all new housing developments changing the planning rules to require charging points to be put into new roads, as well as at railway stations and in all publicly-owned car parks, as in France?"

Mr Hayes also said: "From next summer when we begin the refurbishment of the underground carpark at the House of Commons we will put in place 80 new electric charge points."

Geraint Davies suggested putting charging points at shopping centres
Geraint Davies suggested putting charging points at shopping centres (Ben Birchall/PA)

Shadow transport minister Karl Turner said he was sure the House would be "very pleased to hear the minister say that".

Mr Hayes later said he would consider any further ideas for locations of charging points, after Labour's Geraint Davies (Swansea West) said they could also be used in shopping centres and other places where longer term parking is more common.

"There is a risk that charging infrastructure becomes focused on major routes and in urban and suburban areas, and that the smaller roads and the rural parts of our kingdom might be under provided," Mr Hayes said.

"Now that's not acceptable and we will look at ways of addressing that.

"The Bill is born of a determination to increase the number of charging points, it does as he suggests at the moment talk of major retailers, but I am prepared to look at other ideas to how we can see more charging points more widely."