Trees may get the chop to make way for electric vehicle re-charging points.

Downton Leisure Centre could become a place for people to recharge their personal energy batteries – and those on their electric cars. Instavolt, an electric vehicle company, are proposing to install two rapid electric vehicle charging stations in the car park of Downton Leisure centre.

Two existing car parking spaces at the site have been requested by Instavolt, as the location of the charging ports. The company, which specialises in installing cutting-edge technology that allow electric car owners to charge their cars to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes, filed the application on December 6 last year through their project developer, Paul Hicks.

The desired location of the EV charging ports is opposite the sport club’s main entrance where tall beech trees are growing. The application includes remove of the trees for the installation. If given the go- ahead, once the charging ports are put in place, 10 poplar trees will be planted in place of the beech trees.

Although the leisure centre is run by the Brian Whitehead Sports Centre Association, Downton Parish Council said they would support this application, on the condition that noise pollution would be taken into account while the vehicle charging stations were in use. They did not comment on the loss of the trees that would be felled.

A source from the council said: “The planning application was, in fact, viewed as a benefit for the community, especially with the rise of electric cars becoming ever more apparent.” It was also mentioned that Instavolt might be prepared to donate a small sum of money annually to Downton Sports Club.

The application with Wiltshire Council planning department is still in its ‘registered’ phase, but the consultation period expired on January 11 for a decision on January 31. Downton residents have expressed their concerns to Wiltshire Council, which will be taken into account.

The application on the council website shows local residents commenting that the installation of the EV charging bays could result in higher levels of traffic along Wick Lane because of electric car owners needing to charge their vehicles in a short space of time.

Others expressed concerns that pedestrians could also be put in jeopardy as Wick Lane is used frequently by walkers. Environmental issues raised by residents include the loss of the beech trees.

Report by Matt Maynard

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