The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has announced they are making it easier to install electric car chargers in car parks, depots and other vehicle related facilities without the need for planning approval.

Deputy secretary for Policy and Strategy Alison Frame said battery recharging or exchanging premises can now be built with development consent in some business and industrial zones, and at service stations, highway service centres and car washing facilities.

“The NSW Government is committed to showing leadership in the move to cleaner technologies and making it easier for electric car charging and battery exchanging stations to be built across the state is one of the ways in which we can do this,” Frame said.

These changes are part of a wider suite of amendments made to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Infrastructure 2007 (Infrastructure SEPP) that will ultimately make it easier and faster to deliver and maintain infrastructure.

“Community consultation is an integral part of the planning system and these changes have been made in response to feedback received during the public exhibition of broader changes proposed to the Infrastructure SEPP last year,” Frame said.

Planning for future infrastructure and upgrading existing services are critical components of urban and regional development, the economy and communities of NSW.

“NSW is experiencing a record number of infrastructure projects being delivered across the state that will help deliver new homes, jobs and lively communities that people want to live in. We are constantly looking at new ways to ensure smooth delivery of infrastructure,” Frame said.

Some of the other amendments made to the Infrastructure SEPP include:

  • making good design outcomes an aim of the SEPP
  • providing more services and conveniences at commuter hubs by:
  • allowing car hire, servicing and cleaning at commuter car parks and markets at railway stations without consent
  • allowing retail and businesses to be set up in commuter car parks and transport interchanges, but they will need development approval
  • promoting clean energy by allowing the generation of electricity using waves, tides or aquatic thermal to be permitted with consent
  • allowing amenities to be built such as bathrooms and showers, canteens and kiosks for use by employees within bus depots, as complying development

Behyad Jafari, CEO Electric Vehicle Council said: “As more of our vehicles are powered by electricity, consumers and businesses need certainty around charging infrastructure.“

“By providing a clear path through the approval process, we’ll see more investment in charging locations, supporting the people of NSW to use electric vehicles that remove pollution from our roads and cost less to run,” said Jafari.

“The benefits of taking action are clear, with investment and sales taking off around the world. Governments and industry need to continue working together to ensure Australians have access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.”