The Government has pledged to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. To achieve that objective, and increase consumer confidence, accessible charging facilities need to be made available.
Building regulations will be altered to require:-

  • New residential buildings with on-site parking/an associated parking space to include electric vehicle charge points. New homes include buildings which are converted to residential use;

  • New non-residential buildings which have more than 10 spaces to include at least one charging point and cable routes for 1/5 of the total number of spaces.

  • New residential buildings and existing residential buildings which are undergoing major renovation and which will have more than 10 on-site parking spaces once completed (e.g. blocks of flats) must have cable routes to all spaces and at least 1 charge point per dwelling.

  • Existing non-residential buildings which are undergoing major renovation works which will have more than 10 on-site parking spaces once completed (e.g. office buildings) must have cable routes and at least one charge point to 1/5 of the total number of spaces.
Renovation works are likely to qualify where ‘more than 25 % of the surface area of the building envelope undergoes renovation’ but may be restricted so that it only includes works which affect the car park and/or the electrical infrastructure of the building or the car park.  The announcements state that they are still considering requiring a charge point to be installed in dwellings undergoing major renovation; albeit limitations will be considered if this is the case.
The proposals outline some possible exemptions, including listed buildings, buildings owned and occupied by small and medium enterprises, where the costs of installation would be excessive, and where a full planning application under the building regulations has already been submitted pre-10 March 2021.
There are also outlined minimum standards (including power ratings and universal sockets) which the charge points will need to meet.
The announcements are proposals only, and a draft set of regulations is expected later this year.
It is essential that landowners, housebuilders, developers and other stakeholders keep appraised of these key changes which will have significant implications both in terms of compliance as well as the overall project cost of delivering a scheme.  The proposals mandate a minimum threshold of infrastructure; however, given the government’s target is to achieve net-zero by 2050, it may be short-sighted to not invest beyond this. Going further and rolling out a more extensive network may be a worthwhile consideration in the longer-term and is likely to render properties more attractive to purchasers, tenants or other investors.