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Barnet electric car street chargepoint scheme objections UK News

Objections have been made by Barnet’s Federation of Residents’ Associations, which wants a pause in plans to install 120 street charging points incorporating advertising screens.

The protesters have sent messages to all councillors this week saying the scheme has had “minimal public consultation and little democratic accountability”.

They claim a £2.1 million public grant for the scheme has been allocated “with a complete lack” of transparency.

“Each chargepoint advertising screen uses as much electricity as four homes,” the Finchley Society’s Michael Levitsky said. “This goes against the council policy on climate change.”

Erecting many points would violate council policies to protect street character and amenity, protesters argue, asking why 18 applications have all been approved by planners.

The charge points are part of a deal by the council with the Australian Jolt network.

But the chargers have two large digital advertising screens which objectors say would mean doubling the digital street advertising, with many high streets “already saturated with bright and garish images that few want to see”.  

The first has been installed in North Finchley High Road outside Creams restaurant.

But objectors claim it “breached planning conditions”, saying the concrete pedestal and trailing cable are “trip-hazards for those with limited mobility”.

Mr Levitsky, who is co-ordinating the objections across Barnet, insists: “No more should be installed before the scheme has been properly approved by councillors after public consultation. Barnet is being used as a guinea-pig to put thousands of unsightly chargepoints all over the country — a gimmick meant to distract from the impact they will have on our streets.”  

The groups objecting include the Finchley Society, Barnet Society and residents associations in High Barnet, East Barnet, Friern Barnet, Whetstone and Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Councillor Alan Schneiderman, cabinet member for environment & climate change, said: “We are committed to making Barnet a net zero borough by 2042, as well as ensuring the air we breathe is clean. Joining the state-of-the-art and first-of-its-kind JOLT EV charging network is part of our approach to enabling greener and cleaner transport.

“Our pioneering scheme allows residents to charge their vehicles, for free, for 15 minutes, gaining 7kW of energy that will allow them to drive up to 30 miles.

“The charging points already in place were being used by residents soon after their installation, and the feedback we have had so far has been very positive. JOLT EV charge points work well in town centres because of the charging speeds they offer and the ability to keep charging rates competitive by using income generated from the advertising. We are also able to use some of the advertising time to support local businesses, which helps boost our local economy.

“Achieving our net zero aims requires us to look for new answers to old problems. As such, we will continue to work with our communities and partners to find the right solutions to get us there.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-06 15:56:15

By Times Series

Times Series, The News from the London borough of Barnet, and Borehamwood & Elstree.

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