Tesla loses second application over unlawful creation of charging spaces

Tesla loses second application over unlawful creation of charging spaces

An electric car manufacturing giant has lost a second retrospective planning application for a parking area at a hotel.

Three Rivers District Council has turned down Tesla’s “hideous” plans for 16 electric car charging spaces at Hunton Park Hotel near Abbots Langley.

The council said the development “causes harm to the significance of the Grade II listed hotel”, adding it is also “harmful” to the green belt.

The history of this application tails back to March 2019 when Tesla created a parking area without receiving the necessary planning permission to do so.

Tesla also required permission for the surfacing of the car parking area and the charging equipment that came with it.

In June 2019, the council turned Tesla’s application for retrospective planning permission down and a subsequent appeal was dismissed by a Government planning inspector.

Council documents reveal Tesla returned with a second retrospective application in June this year, although there were some changes to the application.

One of the changes was that only 12 of the 16 spaces would be exclusively for Tesla drivers rather than all 16 previously.

But a decision notice published on August 9 revealed Tesla had failed to win the council over.

Once again, the council cited concerns over the impact of the car parking area on the hotel and surrounding green belt.

An overview of the development. Circled is where the electric car parking spaces and associated equipment has been created

During the consultation, the occupants of neighbouring East Lodge sent a letter opposing Tesla’s application in the “strongest possible terms”.

They said their home overlooks the development site in question and described the erection of a row of two metre high white painted metal superchargers and a green metal substation as “hideous”.

Although the electric chargers have yet to be installed, the residents of East Lodge were critical in their letter that Tesla went ahead with the creation of the new parking area without the necessary permission.

They added the development has caused “unacceptable damage” to trees, to the setting of the listed building, and to the open nature of the green belt – adding the “undeniable need” for a network of appropriately located charging points for electric cars “does not override” their concerns.

Abbots Langley Parish Council was also consulted but raised no objections.

Smith Jenkins, planning agents, argued in its covering letter to the council that the principle of the current proposal is “acceptable” and regarded as providing a “significant public benefit”.

Full details can be found on the council’s planning portal. The reference is 21/1016/RSP.

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