Developer of new Yorkshire housing estate told to pay for bus passes for residents instead of electric vehicle charging points

A developer planning to build on a Bradford field will have to provide future residents with bus passes.

A planning committee yesterday approved an application to build 30 homes on land off Westfield Lane in Wrose, despite pleas from neighbours to the site calling for the plans to be scrapped.

Submitted by Mr Malik, the plans will see an existing access lane to the site, behind numbers 63-77, widened with a footpath added.

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One of Bradford Council’s policies with new developments is that all new dwellings have electric vehicle charging points. National policies require developers of new homes to encourage “sustainable travel” among future residents. Different bodies have different ideas on how to achieve this.

Wrose

Bradford Council’s current policy is to add a condition to any major scheme that each home will have an electric car charging point.

However, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is consulted on major planning applications, instead suggests sustainable travel can be achieved through developers providing future residents with free bus passes for a 12-month period.

A similar suggestion was made for this scheme, but planning officers advised members to push for EV charging points, rather than free bus passes.

During the two-hour debate on the application, some councillors suggested that developers should be told to provide both.

Coun Sinead Engel (Lab, Clayton and Fairweather Green), said: “Not everyone drives. Some people can’t drive for medical reasons, some have never learned to drive, some can’t afford it.

“Providing EV charging points does not meet the needs of every resident. Providing them doesn’t discharge our duty to make sure all residents have access to sustainable transport.”

Most recent figures estimate that in the Shipley area 33.8 per cent of households have no car.

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Coun Matt Edwards said: “I would like to see bus passes included in this. I know not everyone will take it up, but not everyone will buy an electric car just because they have a charging point."

One of the main issues raised by objectors at the meeting were concerns that work to the site, including building the homes, laying down utilities and widening the access road, would lead to the rear access to their homes being blocked.

The developer assured them that any closure of this lane would only be for a short period.

And officers said a condition could be placed on the approval that would require the developers to inform the Council in advance of any such closure.

The plans were then approved, with one of the conditions being residents are provided with free bus passes for a year.