Electric car chargers ruled out at green belt hotel

An adverse overall impact on green belt openness has led to refusal of permission for electric vehicle charging points at a Hertfordshire hotel.

The charging points for Tesla cars were proposed on land with planning permission for use as an overflow car park in the extensive grounds of a hotel occupying a listed mansion house. The appellant claimed that the equipment would form part of local transport infrastructure and therefore fell within one of the specified exceptions to green belt policy set out in paragraph 146 of the NPPF.

The inspector agreed that there was an increasing need for such provision. He noted that the chargers would be available to all Tesla owners, not just hotel guests, and would be easily accessible from the local road network. However, he concluded that the development remained inappropriate because the bulky units, along with the urbanising effects of a uniform layout of illuminated parking bays, would erode the openness of the green belt.

He also found that harm would arise to the setting of the listed building. He did not consider that an increasing need to supply charging facilities for electric vehicles and the wider benefits to the environment resulting from the use of such technology provided the very special circumstances necessary to outweigh these harms and justify the development.

Inspector: Paul Wookey; Written representations

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