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Gloucestershire Business News

Green light for EV bays at Cotswold fuel stop

Cirencester will soon add four EV charging points to its tally after a go-ahead from planners for the work near to the town's Lidl superstore.

The Shell-operated New Quarry Service Station on, Chesterton Lane, plans to demolish a drive-through jet wash and make way for four new charging berths while retaining a carwash option with the addition of two jey wash bays.

The application put before Cotswold District Council in June by site owners Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which is the UK's largest independent forecourt operator with over 900 sites, also requested a new canopy, a sub-station enclosure and associated forecourt works.

Cardiff-based agents, Carney Sweeney, told planners: "The UK has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2035 and moving to Net Zero by 2050. As part of the Net Zero strategy (October 2021), the UK Government have placed a new emphasis on electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK. As part of this drive, it is essential that there is a comprehensive and competitive EV charging network in place."

They added: "Although difficult to know precisely how much charging will be needed, forecasts suggest that at least 280 to 480,000 public charge points will be needed by 2030 - more than 10 times the current number (around 25,000)."

MFG stressed that the bid was in line with its policy aspiration to "provide access to convenient and affordable charging, regardless of where the driver lives".

CDC planners dismissed an objection to the scheme from a neighbouring residential property that there would excessive noise from the jet wash, "Emf radiation from EV charges" and a fire hazard from EVs "when close to petrol tank vent pipes". The also suggested the chargers were not required, given "there are others around the town".

● Among a gradually growing list of options around Cirencester, Shell already offers an EV charging point at the town's Waitrose store. Through its Shell Recharge network, three chargers with a total of five connectors are available at this location, while PodPoint also has three chargers with standard ChAdeMO and Mennekes sockets as well as a faster CCS combo option, at the town's Lidl store.

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