Littlehampton residents question location for new electric vehicle charging points - 'Completely inappropriate'

Residents in Littlehampton have said they did not know electric vehicle chargepoints were due to be installed outside their homes – before works began earlier this month.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is leading a scheme to introduce charge points across the county – in areas, with no off-street parking – to encourage people to switch to more sustainable travel, with £1.8 million awarded to the West Sussex Chargepoint Network.

One of the roads chosen was Cornwall Road in Littlehampton – but the residents claim they were not aware of the consultation process.

Steve Trice said: “None of the house along the terraces, which are affected by the charging points, were properly consulted with. The county council maintained they had done the due process.

"There was no notification of the works until the yellow boards went up and the guys turned up.

“The county council were quite dismissive of our concerns.

“They’ve left it in a complete mess. It’s a very busy area for cars in the terraced houses there.

“There are much better places around the town. Where people have their own bays. We rely on on-street parking. People will park there to charge their cars. It’s about process and communication. We would have expected at least a notice of works.”

In response, West Sussex County Council said ‘extensive efforts’ were made to ‘reach out to as many residents as possible’ to ask their opinions on the chargepoint network proposals.

"This included an online survey, leaflet distribution, media release and via social media,” a spokesperson said.

"Between July 10 and August 4, 2023, a consultation leaflet was delivered to approximately 244,000 West Sussex homes which were within a 250-metre radius of proposed EV Chargepoint locations.”

However, dozens of residents in Cornwall Road said they ‘knew nothing about it’.

One of those was David Bridgeman. He said: “I went home one lunchtime and there were all these diggers and the road had been dug up outside with barriers.

“I got an email with reasons behind it all – basically saying a leaflet was put through our doors last summer which none of us got.

"The whole point was they wrote back and said they had a public consultation and we had our chance to object. But we didn’t even know about the consultation.

“It was a general leaflet sent to thousands of homes in West Sussex – it didn’t tell us it would be right outside our door.

“The other way was to go online but you wouldn’t look if you didn’t know. I think it’s really poor, laughable really. I don’t know what else I can do.

“The location is completely inappropriate, right outside terraced hours with don’t have parking spaces. Parking is at a real premium anyway. It’s always too busy and we can’t get a space.

"It’s right round corner from school in Queens Street, with pick up and drop offs. This is encouraging other people to come in and charge their vehicles. It’s not for the residents. No one here has an electric car.”

Alan Butcher, Arun district councillor for River Ward, said he is ‘keen to see’ charging points made available in ‘appropriate places’.

He added: “However, I am very concerned in two ways. This position in Cornwall Road is a poor choice because it is the most strained part of the local area for parking already. Also, no resident should find one morning that installation has begun outside their homes without them having prior knowledge and the chance to make comment before it is done.

"It should at this stage be relatively easy to get these installations right and give proper notice to those most affected, so I think residents are being let down badly.”

West Sussex County Council said responses relating to Cornwall Road were ‘received at the time’ and these were given ‘due consideration’ before the site was progressed.

The spokesperson added: “As well as the leaflet, we appealed for residents’ feedback through a media release, which received local coverage, including through Sussex World and on local radio. We also included the plea for opinions in our residents’ e-newsletter, which was sent to 212,000 people.

“The county council is not enforcing the electric vehicle bays in Cornwall Road, so there are no changes to on-street parking availability.

"The chargepoints are being installed on the grass verge, so neither the footway nor carriageway will be altered and the roadway will remain the same widths. We apologise for any inconvenience during the installation of the chargepoints.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.