Park trees to make way for electric car charging

November 02 2018

RESIDENTS say plans to build a kiosk, toilets and charging point for electric vehicles in Eastville Park are in the wrong place.

Bristol City Council has submitted plans for a rapid electric vehicle charging hub with spaces for eight vehicles, a transformer and a 2.4m (about 8ft) high security fence. The development would also bring cycle parking, coin-operated toilets, a refreshments kiosk and parking at the site off Park Avenue at the eastern end of the park.

But the scheme involves felling two pear trees and a cherry tree – and objectors say the council should not be cutting down trees and building on green space to accommodate vehicles in its parks.

In a written objection, Eastville resident Joy Etheridge said: “The park has good public transport. This will encourage more people to drive to the park and then possible further incursion and urbanisation in a few years to extend the car park, as has happened at Vassalls.”

Neighbour Jo Stallard said the removal of some existing parking bays to accommodate the scheme was “very short-sighted,” adding: “Currently, as residents we often have difficulties parking near our homes when there are events in the park.”

Both residents suggested the council use the concrete area under the M32 at the bottom of the park for the new facilities.

The council says the scheme is part of a commitment to encourage the widespread use of electric cars and improve air quality.

In a statement accompanying its application, it said: “A hub is more than just individual charging points, and needs to provide some facilities for customers whilst charging, which is why toilets and kiosk are included, at no cost to the local authority or parks department and in future generating a surplus to maintain the facilities too.

“Lack of toilet facilities and a need for café were one of the key asks of local users a recent Friends of Eastville Park survey.”

The council said the site was chosen “due to its proximity to M32, main A roads and other factors”.

To comment on the scheme, visit the planning section of the city council website and search for application 18/04038/FB.