Thousands of jobs promised in Derby after major plans approved

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It is what the city 'has been waiting a long time for'

A huge expansion of a Derby business park has been warmly welcomed - but it has been questioned whether there will be enough electric car charging points.

Plans have been approved for the major transformation of Infinity Park Derby which will see the Sinfin site have new offices, a new hotel, a pub and a drive-thru café.

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New roads will also be created to improve access to the site, which could include the new A50 junction.

Documents state the huge expansion plans will help bring almost 3,000 new jobs to the city.

It is unclear when the development will start, but It is estimated the expansion will take seven years to complete.

Planning documents state that at least 10 per cent of the new car parking spaces created will be fitted with electric car charging points.

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The number of car parking spaces to be made will be provided in a further reserved matters application but, given the scale of the development, it is likely to see at least hundreds of new spaces created.

Plans for a major expansion to Infinity Park in Derby have been approvedPlans for a major expansion to Infinity Park in Derby have been approved
Plans for a major expansion to Infinity Park in Derby have been approved

But Mickleover councillor Matthew Holmes has questioned whether the 10 per cent of spaces to have electric car charging points will be enough for such a large-scale development.

His comments came during a planning meeting last week.

Councillor Holmes made the comment with reference to the news that the Government plans to stop the sale of new petrol/diesel vehicles by 2030 - when it is likely the Infinity Park expansion could be complete or very close to completion.

It is stated that from 2030 onwards every new car sold in the UK will be electric or hybrid.

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There are currently more than 20 electric charging points at Derby City Council-owned car parks across the city.

Cllr Holmes said: “In seven years it will be 2030. 2030 is when the sale of petrol and diesel cars will cease, and it will be electric. Is that (10 per cent) enough? If officers do believe that is reasonable then is there any consideration about that rapid transition at 2030 to a much higher percentage of electric vehicles for those who will be working on this site and many others as well?

“I just think seven years is not a long time. We’re all starting to think about what infrastructure is going to be needed for that many electric vehicles on the roads. It’s just a thought to see whether that 10 per cent is a little low?”

But Andrew Gibbard, from Derby City Council’s transport team, said he felt the percentage allocated was “reasonable” and “a good starting point”.

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He added it was currently difficult to forecast what the market would look like when the development expansion is complete.

He said in response to Cllr Holmes’ concerns: “I think the issue is there isn’t prescriptive guidance on the level that you should provide. I think that’s because that will be partly driven by the market and the demand for it.

“We’ve asked for 10 per cent because we think that is reasonable. I guess moving forward if they require more then that’s for individual occupiers to decide that. I don’t think every space needs one. I don’t think that electric vehicles and the way people charge them necessarily works that way. I think most people charge at home if they can. The problem is trying to forecast what that percentage should be. That’s quite a difficult thing to put forward to developers at the moment but 10 per cent is probably a good starting point I would say.”

Chair of the planning committee, Cllr Jerry Pearce, called the development “excellent” and fellow councillor Sara Bolton said the expansion was what the city “has been waiting a long time for”.

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