Information

Planning - permitted development rights review - phase 2: consultation

We are seeking views on proposed changes to Permitted Development Rights (PDR), as well as the use classes order, which are being considered through phase 2 of the review.


2. Electric Vehicle ChargingInfrastructure

Context

2.1 The New report on the future of public EV charging infrastructure ('the Report') and A Network fit for the Future: Draft Vision for Scotland's Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network ("the Draft Vision") discuss the need and objectives for public electric vehicle ("EV") charging infrastructure. This is in the context of our climate change targets, our Mission Zero for Transport, and the anticipated growth in EV ownership.

2.2 The Scottish Government has world-leading climate targets, setting legally- binding requirements to achieve a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to achieve Net Zero by 2045. The transport sector is currently the greatest contributor of emissions, emitting a total of 13.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, with road transport contributing the most.

2.3 The Draft Vision indicates that we might expect the number of EV to increase to anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million by 2030. We currently have in excess of 2100 charging points in Scotland, and the Report referred to the Climate Change Committee estimate that the number of such charging points would need to grow to 30,000 to meet the growth in demand[5].

2.4 This Chapter of the consultation paper therefore considers changes to the existing PDR for EV charging for off-street parking area, i.e. Classes 9E and 9F of the GPDO.

2.5 Given the anticipated scale of future demand for EVs, this Chapter also considers the case for introducing new PDR that would support the provision of charging infrastructure in locations other than areas for off-street parking. Specifically, it explores whether there might be merit in using PDR to facilitate the roll-out of chargers located on or adjacent to pavements, as well as the conversion of petrol stations to charging forecourts.

Current PDR for EV Charging

2.6 Classes 9E and 9F of the GPDO provide specific PDR for EV charging infrastructure located in off-street parking areas, the wording of which are set out at the end of this Chapter (see Box 1 and Box 2). See also the general conditions and limitations on PDR mentioned in paragraph 1.16 of this consultation paper, which apply to these and other classes of PDR

2.7 Local authorities also have more general PDR (Class 30 of the GPDO) for development required in connection with the operation of any public service administered by them. These are not subject to the conditions and limitations that are specific to Classes 9E and 9F (e.g. they are not limited to off-street parking areas or restricted in particular locations such as National Parks), but are subject to the general conditions and restrictions mentioned in paragraph 1.16.

Proposed Changes to Class 9E: Wall-Mounted EV Chargers (Off-street Parking Areas)

2.8 Class 9E grants planning permission for wall mounted EV charging points in an area lawfully used for off-street parking. Class 9E also makes specification regarding size and location of such EV charging points; lists areas in which the PDR do not apply; and specifies conditions on nameplates and for the removal of redundant equipment and reinstatement of walls.

2.9 These PDR relate to relatively small development on an existing wall in an existing off-street parking area, i.e. areas already subject to development. The list of areas in which the PDR are restricted[6] is quite extensive, which may discourage the people living in and travelling to such locations from switching to EV.

2.10 We therefore do not consider the restriction of these PDR in the areas specified in Class 9E(3) is justified, especially given the role that EV charging infrastructure will play in helping to tackle climate change. Where particular locations raise concerns requiring the consideration of a planning application then the option of an 'Article 4 direction' (paragraph 1.17) can be considered. We therefore propose to remove the current restrictions on this PDR in those areas.

2.11 The conditions regarding nameplates in these PDR were intended to avoid any issues around adverts and signage on EV infrastructure. With a view to simplifying the legislation where possible, we are interested in whether respondents consider these requirements useful.

Q1. Do you agree with the removal of restrictions on Class 9E PDR, for wall-mounted EV charging outlets, in the specified areas currently listed in Class 9E(3)? Please explain your answer

Q2. Should the conditions regarding nameplates be withdrawn from Class 9E on wall-mounted EV charging outlets? Please explain your answer.

Proposed Changes to Class 9F: EV Charging Upstands (Off-street Parking Areas)

2.12 Class 9F grants planning permission for EV charging point upstands in an area lawfully used for off-street parking. Class 9F also makes specification regarding the size, number and location of such upstands, lists those areas in which the PDR do not apply and specifies conditions on nameplates and for the removal of redundant equipment and reinstatement of land.

2.13 We propose to extend Class 9F to those areas (listed at Class 9F(3)) where these PDR are currently restricted. As with Class 9E, this is on the basis that the areas where the PDR applies (i.e. existing parking areas) are already developed and reflects the projected increase in EV ownership, the associated need for charging infrastructure and its importance in helping to tackle climate change. Again the option of an 'Article 4 direction' (paragraph 1.17) can be considered for locations that are particularly sensitive.

2.14 As with Class 9E we are interested in the question of whether the conditions on nameplates can be withdrawn.

2.15 Higher powered chargers (HPCs) need a larger power supply which in itself requires bigger cabinets. In addition, most HPCs have separate 'power modules' which convert AC current to DC, taking up more space in the cabinet. Some also have built-in battery storage.

2.16 We therefore propose to extend the height restriction on EV charging upstands in Class 9F from 1.6 metres to 2.5 metres, and that this should apply in all locations, i.e. given the proposed removal of restrictions on PDR in areas currently listed in Class 9F(3).

2.17 We do intend, however, to retain the current 1.6 metre height limit where such upstands are to be located within the curtilage of a dwelling, to limit residential amenity issues.

2.18 There is the potential to improve the sustainability benefits of EV charging points where these are powered by renewable means. The provision of an accompanying canopy can accommodate solar panels to generate electricity, which can be enhanced by using on-site electrical storage (and associated apparatus). This can help to ensure that electricity from solar panels and the use of off-peak electricity is maximised, reducing the impact of charging on the grid. This is likely to be increasingly important with the growth of high speed, high power charging points.

2.19 A number of electrical charging stations have been developed recently which include canopies with solar panels, for example: Falkirk Council has developed a hub for 26 vehicles; and Charge Place Scotland has developed a low carbon travel hub in Stirling with 32 EV chargers. These hubs have solar panels on canopies above the charging stations; Falkirk's hub generates over 30% of its charging power from solar energy and Stirling's also includes on-site battery storage to maximise use of the excess energy created.

2.20 It is therefore proposed to allow the development of canopied charging stations under PDR for upstands in off-street parking areas, as long as the canopy is used for solar panels to provide electricity for the charging station only. It is also proposed to allow on-site battery storage and housing for associated apparatus in order to make such facilities as sustainable as possible.

2.21 We are considering extending Class 9F PDR for EV upstands in off-street parking areas to grant planning permission for:

  • canopies up to four metres in height; and
  • battery storage and related equipment housing consisting of up to two cabinets/ containers of 27 cubic metres (i.e. 3m x 3m x 3m) each.

2.22 We anticipate including a condition that such structures would be for the powering of the EV charging on-site only.

2.23 We are also considering extending Class 9F PDR to include equipment housing for upstands with no solar canopies, to cover any need for switching gear for example. This would be a single cabinet / container of 27 cubic metres (i.e. 3m x 3m x 3m). Where sites have mixed power sources, no more than two cabinets would be allowed under PDR.

2.24 It is recognised that these are not insubstantial developments, which would not be acceptable in all locations. As such, we consider that any PDR for solar canopies and battery storage associated with EV chargers in off-street parking areas should not apply in the following areas:

  • a site of archaeological interest;
  • a National Scenic Area;
  • a historic garden or designed landscape;
  • a historic battlefield;
  • a conservation area;
  • a National Park;
  • a World Heritage Site; and
  • the curtilage of a dwelling.

2.25 This is not to rule out the development of solar canopies, battery storage or equipment housing in these areas, but given the scale involved to require a case by case consideration through an application for planning permission.

2.26 Additionally, we consider there should be some restriction on the location of solar canopies, battery storage and equipment housing developed under these proposed new PDR. Specifically, we propose that such developments should not be allowed within five metres of any part of a road (see paragraph 2.32 below), or within 10 metres of the curtilage of a dwelling.

2.27 So in summary – with respect to PDR for charging upstands in off-street parking areas – we propose to:

  • Remove the restriction on Class 9F so it applies to off-street parking areas located in specified areas.
  • Increase the maximum height of upstands permitted under Class 9F from 1.6m to 2.5m (except within the curtilage of a dwelling).
  • Introduce PDR for solar canopies (up to 4m) and related battery storage and equipment housing (maximum two; up to 27 cubic metres each) associated with EV upstands (would not apply in specified areas or within 5m of a road or within 10m of a dwelling).
  • Introduce PDR for equipment housing (maximum two; up to 27 cubic metres each) associated with non-solar EV upstands (would not apply in specified areas or within 5m of a road or within 10m of the curtilage of a dwelling).

2.28 As noted above, we are also interested in views on removing or amending current conditions relating to nameplates

Q3. Do you agree with the removal of current restrictions on Class 9F PDR for EV charging upstands in the specified areas currently listed in Class 9F(3)? Please explain your answer.

Q4. Should the conditions regarding nameplates be withdrawn from Class 9F on EV charging upstands? Please explain your answer.

Q5. Do you agree with the proposed increase in height allowable for EV charging upstands under Class 9F PDR from 1.6 metres to 2.5 metres in all off-street parking locations, except within the curtilage of a dwelling? Please explain your answer

Q6. Do you agree with the proposal to introduce PDR for solar canopies and related battery storage and equipment housing for EV charging upstands in off-street parking areas? Please explain your answer.

Q7. Do you agree with the proposal to introduce PDR for equipment housing for EV charging upstands in off-street areas where solar canopies are not provided? Please explain your answer.

Q8. Do you agree with the list of areas within which new PDR for such solar canopies and related battery storage and equipment housing should not apply? Please explain your answer.

Q9. Do you agree with the suggested height limit of 4 metres on PDR for solar canopies for EV charging upstands in off-street parking areas? Please explain your answer.

Q10. Do you agree with the proposal that any new PDR for solar canopies, battery storage and equipment housing for EV charging upstands in off-street parking areas should not apply within 5 metres of a road and 10 metres of the curtilage of a dwelling? Please explain your answer.

On-street/Kerbside Charging

2.29 The Draft Vision and the Report mentioned at the start of this Chapter indicate the issues driving the need for EV charging infrastructure and the scale of the task.

2.30 The Draft Vision indicates that expansion of the public charging network will need to continue to be planned in a way that best reflects local geographies and the requirements of users. It also states that we can expect a shift towards a public charging network largely financed and operated by the commercial sector; it acknowledges we are not at that stage yet, nor will there be a uniform approach to that transition across Scotland. It anticipates that the public sector will continue to play an important role in the transition, but the nature of its support will not remain static.

2.31 It is reasonable to assume that the predicted scale of future EV ownership will increase the need for chargers (public and private) located on or adjacent to the pavement (e.g. where a residence does not have off-street parking). Although the Report and Draft Vision do not mention on-street charging infrastructure specifically, it is the subject of UK Government guidance[7]. The provision of on-street charging infrastructure involves considerations that extend beyond planning. However, we want to take this opportunity to explore the issues further and consider whether additional PDR might assist in meeting this demand.

2.32 Roads are different from other land. A 'road' in this context includes the carriageway, footway, footpath, cycle way and verge[8]. Private or public EV charging points, upstands or related infrastructure located in the road present a particular set of considerations and issues. There may be impacts on the built and natural heritage and on visual amenity. As the Equality Impact Assessment at Annex C acknowledges, the introduction of physical and visual obstructions have the potential to adversely affect certain groups disproportionately. There would also be implications around parking and traffic flows, long-term maintenance and potential impacts on local amenity. These are all relevant considerations when thinking about the potential for PDR that expressly relate to chargers located in the road.

2.33 Another important consideration is that controls other than planning apply where development, works or installations take place in the road. This includes both regulatory/consenting regimes and commercial/contractual arrangements. The scope of such controls, and whether they are sufficient to manage and mitigate the issues in paragraph 2.32, will help inform:

  • what any PDR for on-street charging infrastructure would grant permission for, and what conditions it would be subject to;
  • who such a PDR would apply to; and
  • where it would apply.

2.34 There are provisions under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 as regards: offences for obstructions in the road; requirements to obtain consent from the roads authority for placing apparatus in the road; and to consult with the relevant roads authority on placement. These would continue to apply even if a specific PDR related to on-street infrastructure were taken forward.

2.35 Local authorities already have, as indicated in paragraph 2.7, general PDR for structures for public services administered by them – Class 30 of the GPDO. Unlike Classes 9E and 9F, these PDR are not restricted to specific locations. We would welcome views on whether it may be useful to clarify the applicability of Class 30 to EV charging infrastructure.

2.36 Up to now, there has been public sector involvement (beyond regulatory functions), particularly through local authorities, in public EV charging infrastructure provision. Whilst this is likely to continue in future, the nature of that public or local authority involvement will evolve. The Report indicates the potential for different models for public EV charging infrastructure moving forward, with the private sector taking an increasing role in financing, installing and operating the apparatus. It refers to various examples, including concessionary arrangements, landlord/lease arrangements and other mixed models.

2.37 Such potential approaches may have implications as to the applicability of Class 30 PDR to public EV charging infrastructure provided within a road. That is, the extent to which the current Class 30 PDR would apply will depend on how the local authority and/or private sector interests deliver and administer the infrastructure. New approaches may also affect, for example, the ability of local authorities to exert control through contractual arrangements (mentioned in paragraph 2.33).

2.38 In light of this, we would welcome views on whether changes to existing local authority PDR and/or new PDR for different parties may be required to address emerging approaches to the roles of the public and private sectors in the delivery of EV charging infrastructure. For example, to ensure Class 30 PDR, insofar as they relate to EV charging infrastructure, apply to development which is installed and operated by parties acting on behalf of, or in partnership with, a local authority.

2.39 There are also matters relating to the role of Distribution Network Owners ("DNOs") in providing grid connection (In Scotland, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and SP Energy Networks). This links to the fact that aspects of EV charging infrastructure are matters reserved to the UK Parliament and UK Government, and so they and Ofgem have roles in these matters.

2.40 Certain actors, such as electricity undertakers like the DNOs, already have PDR and rights in relation to access to the road network for the purposes of their activities. Add to that any changes UK Government and Parliament might make as regards reserved matters in relation to EV charging and the rights and obligations of parties in that regard (in a similar vein to electricity undertakers or electronic communications code system operators).

2.41 Such additional rights and PDR mean we need to ensure that any amendments do not inadvertently create gaps in the regulatory environment when considering extending PDR for EV charging infrastructure.

2.42 Given the various issues associated with development in a road, coordinating public EV charging infrastructure, changing delivery models, UK level legislation and the existence of controls under roads legislation, we are interested in views on the following questions:

Q11. Would it be helpful to amend Class 30 PDR for local authorities to make clear they apply to EV charging points and any associated infrastructure? Please explain your answer.

Q12. Do local authority PDR need to be amended to take account of emerging models for financing, delivering and operating EV charging infrastructure, and the changing nature of private sector involvement? Please explain your answer.

Q13. Should PDR for EV charging infrastructure in roads apply to parties other than local authorities? Please explain your answer.

Q14. If so, would such PDR for other parties need to be linked to some arrangement with local authorities or other form of authorisation? Please explain your answer.

Q15. What conditions and limitations would need to be placed on any additional PDR for EV charging infrastructure in roads? Please explain your answer.

Q16. In relation to extending PDR for EV charging infrastructure in roads, what issues need to be considered regarding existing PDR, and rights to access the roads network, for infrastructure which are available to other sectors, such as electricity undertakers? Please explain your answer.

Changes to Existing Petrol Stations

2.43 We can envisage that in future existing stations selling petrol and diesel may wish to convert to EV charging hubs. This would likely involve a change to the buildings and structures on site – e.g. solar canopies and battery storage.

2.44 We are considering PDR providing for such conversions, subject to conditions/limitations providing that:

  • the area of physical development on site not be increased;
  • replacement buildings and structures can be no higher than existing (distinguishing between occupied buildings and structures such as canopies and equipment housing); and
  • no changes to the access arrangements to the road, unless otherwise agreed with the planning authority.

2.45 We recognise within this broader approach to such PDR, additional conditions and limitations, or further specification of those identified above, may be required.

Q17. Do you agree in principle with having PDR for changing existing petrol/diesel stations to EV charging only? Please explain your answer.

Q18. If so, what, if any, further specification of the conditions and limitations identified, or additional ones, would be required for such? Please explain your answer.

Box 1: Existing PDR: Class 9E – Wall-Mounted EV Chargers in Off-street Parking Areas

Class 9E

(1) The installation, alteration or replacement, within an area lawfully used for off- street parking, of an electrical outlet mounted on a wall for recharging electric vehicles.

(2) Development is not permitted by this class if the electrical outlet (including its casing) would—

(a) exceed 0.5 cubic metres; or

(b) face onto and be within 2 metres of a road.

(3) Development is not permitted by this class in the case of land within—

(a) a site of archaeological interest;

(b) a national scenic area;

(c) a historic garden or designed landscape;

(d) a historic battlefield;

(e) a conservation area;

(f) a National Park; or

(g) a World Heritage Site.

(4) Development is permitted by this class subject to the conditions that—

(a) any name plate of the charging point provider or the energy supplier on the outlet (including its casing) must be no longer than 70 centimetres;

(b) there must be no more than 2 name plates attached to the outlet (including its casing);

(c) where 2 name plates are attached to the outlet (including its casing), each name plate must be facing in opposite directions;

(d) any name plate must not be illuminated.

(5) Development is permitted by this class subject to the conditions that when no longer needed as a charging point for electric vehicles—

(a) the development must be removed as soon as reasonably practicable; and

(b) the wall on which the development was mounted or into which the development was set must, as soon as reasonably practicable, and so far as reasonably practicable, be reinstated to its condition before that development was carried out.

Box 2: Existing PDR: Class 9F – EV Charging Upstands in Off-street Parking Areas

Class 9F

(1) The installation, alteration or replacement, within an area lawfully used for off- street parking, of an upstand with an electrical outlet mounted on it for recharging electric vehicles.

(2) Development is not permitted by this class if the upstand and the outlet (including its casing) would—

(a) exceed 1.6 metres in height from the level of the surface used for the parking of vehicles;

(b) be within 2 metres of a road; or

(c) result in more than one upstand being provided for each parking space.

(3) Development is not permitted by this class in the case of land within—

(a) a site of archaeological interest;

(b) a national scenic area;

(c) a historic garden or designed landscape;

(d) a historic battlefield;

(e) a conservation area;

(f) a National Park; or

(g) a World Heritage Site.

(4) Development is permitted by this class subject to the conditions that—

(a) any name plate of the charging point provider or the energy supplier on the upstand or outlet (including its casing) must be no longer than 70 centimetres;

(b) there must be no more than 2 name plates attached to the upstand or outlet (including its casing);

(c) where 2 name plates are attached to the upstand or outlet (including its casing), each name plate must be facing in opposite directions;

(d) any name plate must not be illuminated.

(5) Development is permitted by this class subject to the conditions that when the development is no longer needed as a charging point for electric vehicles—

(a) the development must be removed as soon as reasonably practicable; and

(b) the land on which the development was mounted or into which the development was set must, as soon as reasonably practicable, and so far as reasonably practicable, be reinstated to its condition before that development was carried out.

Contact

Email: Planning.PDR2@gov.scot

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