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Futuristic new electric forecourt could open near NDR next year

PUBLISHED: 16:24 10 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 10 November 2020

An artist's impression of what the Norwich East Electric Forecourt could look like if a bid submitted to Broadland District Council. Picture: Gridserve

An artist's impression of what the Norwich East Electric Forecourt could look like if a bid submitted to Broadland District Council. Picture: Gridserve

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A futuristic new electric vehicle charging station could be built at a business park in Norfolk as soon as next year.

An artist's impression of what the Norwich East Electric Forecourt could look like if a bid submitted to Broadland District Council. Picture: GridserveAn artist's impression of what the Norwich East Electric Forecourt could look like if a bid submitted to Broadland District Council. Picture: Gridserve

Sustainable power firm Gridserve submitted plans to build a new electric vehicle forecourt on the Broadland Gate Business Park, near the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) at Postwick.

The site is one of more than 100 locations across the UK sought by Gridserve for electric vehicle forecourts to meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles.

It comes as the first UK electric car forecourt, close to Stansted in Essex, nears completion.

READ MORE: Bid to build new state-of-the-art electric vehicle forecourt in Norwich

The Braintree forecourt will also be home to brands including WH Smiths, Costa Coffee and the Post Office, as part of a vision to make electric vehicle charging as easy as using a petrol station.

The Norwich site, which would be located near the newly-built NDR, also called the Broadland Northway, will feature 34 high-speed charging bays, a coffee shop, convenience store, and an airport-style lounge with high-speed wifi.

The 34 bays include 12 ultra-rapid, 12 rapid, eight branded and two HGV chargers – offering less than 30-minute charge times.

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The plans were discussed by Broadland councillors during a planning committee meeting.

And Raoul Tufnell, speaking on behalf of applicant Gridserve said the firm’s ambition was to create people-led services to complement the “existing and growing electric vehicle network”.

READ MORE: Oil giant BP puts in car charging points without permission

He added: “Should we be successful, we intend for the site to be operational next year.”

Mr Tufnell told councillors the site had been future-proofed with room allocated to add an extra charging point to every parking space, as demand grows.

During the meeting, Sprowston East Conservative councillor John Ward asked: “As there will be a cafe, there will be people turning up in their petrol cars. Will there be some parking spaces?”

And planning officer Nigel Harris said spaces would be available nearby but there would be nothing to stop fuelled vehicle drivers from entering the site.

Depending on locations, the firm also hopes to build new solar farms adjacent to its forecourts, to supply their electricity directly and has begun developing several large solar farms, supported by batteries, to supply energy via the grid for the remaining sites.

At the meeting, on Wednesday, September 16, councillors unanimously approved the plans.

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