Central Bedfordshire Council has approved ground-breaking proposals for a new electric vehicle charging station located near to the A5 at Checkley Wood. The proposals from leading renewables developer Arnold White Energy will provide ultra-rapid vehicle charging facilities for Heath and Reach, as well as an electric bus charging hub.
Arnold White Group’s plans respond directly to the growing demand for more sustainable modes of transport, such as electric vehicles, which can help contribute towards a low carbon future. The ambitious proposals will also facilitate a new electric bus service for developments on Clipstone and Chamberlains Barn, providing a low carbon alternative to public transport whilst enhancing connectivity within the local area. The charging facility will also incorporate a new coffee outlet, which has been sensitively designed to include extensive landscaping that will enhance the local environment and biodiversity.
In a UK first, the development will be the first electric vehicle charging station in the country to incorporate wind, solar, energy storage, domestic charging and public transport. The power for the charging hub will come directly from renewable energy sources at the already consented Checkley Wood Wind Turbine and the Double Arches Solar Array. The use of existing renewable energy sources will ensure that the station is as environmentally friendly as possible, presenting a unique opportunity to harness existing clean energy and use this to facilitate cleaner forms of travel.
The scheme responds directly to the climate emergency and seeks to support the transition to a low carbon, net-zero future. With transport one of the largest emitters of carbon in the UK, the proposals present a unique opportunity to provide clean, sustainable transport options for local people, whilst also improving air quality along the A5 and local bus routes.
In addition to delivering substantial environmental benefits, the scheme will also make a positive contribution to the local economy. Employment opportunities will be created during the construction phase, as well as at the new coffee outlet and bus service.
Ian Foll, Managing Director of AW Renewables, said:
“We are delighted that our proposals for the Checkley Wood Electric Vehicle charging station have been approved. Throughout the UK, Arnold White Group is bringing forward innovative schemes that respond to the climate crisis.
“The energy for the charging points will be derived from existing renewable energy sources, which will ensure that the development is truly self-sufficient. Climate change is a pressing issue and one that must be tackled urgently. Schemes such as this represent an important step in delivering on ambitions to provide a zero carbon future for the next generations.”