Planning permission for EV chargers

Planning permission for EV chargers

Whether you already own an electric vehicle (EV) or are looking to purchase one soon, you should be considering installing a home chargepoint.

There are many publicly accessible chargepoints across the country, which can be ideal for a top-up on the go but are less than convenient as a main charging method. Fully charging an EV can take hours, so you’ll need to be parked up at the chargepoint for a while. On top of this, public charging stations can get busy, with EV drivers queuing for a turn to recharge. The ultimate convenience for EV drivers is to install a chargepoint at home.

You may think that because you own your home, you’re able to install an EV chargepoint without any additional permissions. This is true in most cases, but certain requirements must be met for a chargepoint not to require planning permission.

 

Permitted development rights

As a homeowner, certain home renovation and improvement projects fall under ‘permitted development rights’, meaning that you can carry out these works without the need for planning permission. Be aware that most permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations.

Permitted development rights do not vary by local authority since they are granted by the government. However, some ‘designated areas’ of the country have restrictions. For example, properties located within a conservation area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a world heritage site and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads will need to apply for planning permission for certain works that would be covered by permitted development rights elsewhere.

It’s important to note that most permitted development rights do not apply to flats, maisonettes and other buildings, and commercial properties have different rights to residential dwellings. Listed buildings also have completely different requirements.

 

Requirements to install an EV chargepoint at home

Assuming that you have off-street parking and your property does not fall within a ‘designated area’, it’s likely that a home EV chargepoint will fall under permitted development rights, not requiring planning permission to begin the installation. However, the installation must also meet certain criteria.

The criteria vary slightly depending on how the chargepoint will be installed. Some homeowners choose to install a chargepoint directly onto the wall, and others will install a pedestal that the chargepoint is mounted on.

If you’re installing a chargepoint directly onto the wall, the outlet and its casing must not:

  • Exceed 0.2 cubic metres
  • Face onto and be within two metres of a highway
  • Be within a site designated as a scheduled monument
  • Be within the curtilage of a listed building

 

If you’re installing a pedestal with a mounted EV charger, the stand and outlet must not:

  • Exceed 2.3 metres in height from the level of the parking surface (this limit is 1.6 metres when in the curtilage of a dwellinghouse (house of multiple occupation) or a block of flats
  • Be within 2 metres of a highway
  • Be within a site designated as a scheduled monument
  • Be within the curtilage of a listed building
  • Result in more than one chargepoint per parking space

 

The conditions for either type of installation require the chargepoint to be removed as soon as reasonably practicable once it is no longer required, and the wall on which it was installed should be returned to as close to its original condition as reasonably possible.

If the above requirements cannot be met, you will need to apply for planning permission before installing your chargepoint.

 

EV charging for listed buildings

A building becomes listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest. The properties are considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting. 

There are over 450,000 listed buildings in Britain and the vast majority are privately owned, so it’s becoming more common for listed property owners to find themselves in a position where they wish to install an EV chargepoint.

Renovations and other works for listed buildings do not fall under the usual permitted development rights. Any alterations that could be considered to affect the character of your property will require Listed Building Consent – this includes installing an EV chargepoint. Carrying out any form of alteration to a listed building without the proper consent is a criminal offence, even if you are the owner of the property.

It’s worth checking whether your property was built with any restrictive covenants, which outline ways it can or can’t be used or developed. With or without covenants, you must seek consent before beginning the installation of an EV charger. It can be worthwhile to speak with your neighbours too, since they will likely be given a chance to raise concerns or objections to your request, and a preemptive friendly conversation can often help avoid this happening.

 

Get the go-ahead

It’s important to ensure that you are meeting all regulations and requirements for installing an EV chargepoint and gaining the appropriate consent if your circumstances require it. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines or even criminal charges. Always contact a specialist to carry out the installation works to ensure that the job is carried out correctly and safely.

 

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