Former pub site to become electric vehicle charging hub if planners agree

Plans for a new electric vehicle (EV) charging hub on the outskirts of Leeds have been submitted to Leeds City Council.

Following a recent consultation, more than three-quarters of respondents have said that they are in favour of BP’s  proposals for 18 covered ultra-fast charging bays on the former site of the White Bear public house on the Dewsbury Road in Leeds.

Along with bays for disabled users, 13 vehicle parking spaces, a 3,500 sq ft retail unit, which will provide refreshments as well as a small range of convenience goods, are also proposed as part of plans to regenerate the site, which has been vacant since the pub closed in 2018.

A new access road is also planned with existing trees retained as part of an extensive tree planting and landscaping scheme.

The scheme is intended to help address the lack of EV charging facilities in the Leeds area, enabling people to charge their electric vehicles in under 30 minutes.

Dozens of construction jobs would also be created during the initial build phase, with a further 21 full time jobs in retail and customer services on the cards once the hub goes live.

James Cox, associate director at the Leeds office of planning and development consultancy Lichfields, which is overseeing the planning submission, said: “The public consultation reveals there is overwhelming support from local people and stakeholders for the development.

“It has got to be seen as a positive step in the right direction, bringing a disused site back in to use while creating a much-needed facility and jobs.

“Sustainability lies at the heart of the proposals, which promise to deliver a host of benefits and contribute to the roll out of EV facilities across Leeds.

“The scheme is also set within a well-connected landscaped site, complete with all the amenities and functionality demanded by drivers requiring ‘superfast’ charging hubs.”

If the project is approved, onsite work could start towards the end of 2023.

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