UK: Electric Vehicle Charging Points: Every Home Should Have One

On 15th July 2019, almost unnoticed amid the sound and fury of the Conservative leadership contest, the Department for Transport issued a public consultation on proposals to require, via an amendment to the building regulations, all new homes to be fitted with electric vehicle charging points. The proposal forms part of the government's Road to Zero strategy which aims to "clean up road transport" by moving to zero emission road vehicles. This is, of course, all in line with the Government's recent commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which was significantly bolstered by the passing by Parliament in June 2019 of a statutory instrument made under the Climate Change Act 2008 effectively enshrining that commitment in law.

What does the proposed amendment to the building regulations mean for developers?

The move will come as no surprise to developers. Increasingly local authorities have in recent years, been introducing requirements for electric vehicle charging points in new residential developments through the planning process. Looked at from a developer's point of view, this is just another development cost that needs to be taken into account in the development appraisal. The addition of the cost of charging points will have the effect of slightly reducing the monies left available to satisfy the local planning authority's "wish list" of things that might be secured under a s106 agreement. But, if carried through, there would be, for the first time, a requirement as a matter of law, as opposed to policy, to provide electrical charging points.

From an environmental perspective, the initiative is to be welcomed. But it is not without its problems. Firstly, it is not clear how the policy would apply to houses that do not have off-street parking spaces. (It would clearly be a major safety issue to have a cable across the pavement outside every house!) Nor is it clear how it could easily be applied to blocks of flats or to conversions of offices to flats under Schedule 2 Part 3 Class O of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the 2015 Order), which are becoming more widespread. In neither case is a dedicated parking space per flat guaranteed. Indeed, especially in locations close to public transport links, the provision of parking spaces tends to be actively discouraged through restraint-based planning polices.

Secondly, such a policy in isolation would take a very long time to make a significant difference. The UK currently builds just over 200,000 new homes a year, with this figure representing an 11-year high. Even if the Government's target of 300,000 new homes a year were to be consistently achieved year on year, it's going to take a long time for electric vehicle charging points to become widespread, let alone ubiquitous. It will have no significant effect on the approximately 25 million existing homes in the UK, of which only about 10,000 a year are demolished and replaced. Clearly, there will also need to be policies encouraging existing homes to install charging points.

Permitted development rights and their restrictions

There are existing permitted development rights (in England in Schedule 2 Part 2 Class D of the 2015 Order) to install charging points without the need to apply to the local planning authority. But there are various restrictions. For example, the permitted development right does not apply where the charging point is within two metres of the highway (which will exclude any properties which front directly onto the pavement - not uncommon in older houses - or which only have small front gardens).

In addition, the permitted development right does not apply in the curtilage of a listed building and can be excluded in conservation areas by means of an Article 4 Direction. Between them these heritage designations probably represent some millions of homes in total which would need to apply for planning permission for a charging point. These heritage-related restrictions are, perhaps, understandable but, for there to be a widespread switch from petrol and diesel-powered cars to electric vehicles, charging points are going to need to become as commonplace and as unnoticed as, until recently, television aerials were - and in many places still are. Perhaps the charging point permitted development right needs revisiting as part of a comprehensive policy approach?

A further plank of a comprehensive approach should perhaps cover incentives for homeowners to install charging points. This could be in much the same way as owners are currently encouraged to improve energy efficiency by, for example, installing renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps. This could be extended to offer grants and/or loans to those willing and able to install electric vehicle charging points. Incentives could be increased for those installing both renewable energy equipment and electric vehicle charging points, which would, after all, together make vehicles truly green.

The future of the charging point policy consultation

Of course, we need to remember that the charging point policy consultation was issued in the dying days of Theresa May's government. We now have a new Prime Minister in Boris Johnson who, in his Cabinet reshuffle, has appointed a new Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Schapps. It remains to be seen whether the new Government will follow through on the electric vehicle charging point policy, which is, of course, still only at consultation stage. But the signs may be good. In 2009, when he was Mayor of London, Boris Johnson announced a plan to put 100,000 electric cars on London's streets That initiative may not have been entirely successful but Johnson revealed his view of electric vehicles at the time, saying: "Electric cars are a way of reducing harmful emissions...without settling for hair-shirt abstinence". A positive assessment, indeed.

All in all, a promising start but more work needed.

Read the original article on

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
26 Sep 2019, Seminar, London, UK

Providing GCs, Heads of Legal and senior in-house lawyers with timely, topical and practical legal advice on a variety of topics.

8 Oct 2019, Seminar, Birmingham, UK

Supporting the development of paralegals, trainees and lawyers of up to five years' PQE by providing valuable knowledge and guidance together with practical tips.

10 Oct 2019, Seminar, London, UK

Supporting the development of paralegals, trainees and lawyers of up to five years' PQE by providing valuable knowledge and guidance together with practical tips.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions