30 July 2021
By Tom Collins
The Green Party in Cork has welcomed news that a warning letter has been issued to Lidl in Churchfield – on the Northside of Cork City (near the brownbrick eir mast building) – in relation to the business not providing electric car charging points and sufficient cycle stands for customers.
As part of its grant of planning permission in 2016, the supermarket was required to provide high-quality covered cycle parking facilities for 30 bicycles and parking for 16 electric vehicles. At least one of these was to be a functioning electric car charging point. Ducting to provide charging points for at least 10% of all car parking spaces was also required.
The warning letter was issued by Cork City Council following a complaint by Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, who said:
“It’s frustrating for owners of electric cars, especially here on the north side where there appears to be a particular gap in charging points. There’s a sense that the initial roll out of charging points has fallen behind the take up of electric cars now by the public. These were supposed to be provided as part Lidl’s planning permission in 2016, but five years later it still has to materialise.”
Councillor Moran said that support for use of Electric Vehicles (EV) and Light Electric Vehicles (LEV), like e-bikes and e-scooters, including charging points, was a goal in the draft new city development plan:
“From a city council perspective, there is a review underway of the anticipated need and the right technological solutions. Other issues are to do with questions like on-going maintenance and charging costs, as well as locations, which could include shared charging points in housing estate.
“There’s a nervousness to invest too much too quickly and getting it wrong, or creating unforeseen problems, so there is care being taken to get the roll out right. In the meantime, electric car owners are feeling frustration as they wait for the analysis to complete and decisions to be made.”