A newly installed set of charging spaces for electric vehicles (EV) are to be removed after residents pointed out that they block access to a historic church nearby.
Residents in Hangleton were surprised after access to the main entrance of St. Helen’s Church was blocked by new EV charging spaces, seemingly without any consultation.
Following a request from ward councillors, Brighton and Hove City Council contacted engineers to halt work on the installation and remove the junction box.
The EV charging spots, which were agreed in January, are directly in front of the only path to the main entrance of the church, where hearses and wedding cars often park.
Local churchgoer Kelly Howells said: “I’m absolutely dumbfounded why this has been placed there, as well as it being a busy junction with cars and buses.
“I just pray that the council gets this removed. It’s ruining the most beautiful church.”
Local resident Raye Fielding said: “There’s an idea. Before just wasting money and carrying out unnecessary work, they consult with the people that it will affect.”
Following a request from Hangleton and Knoll councillors, Brighton and Hove City Council contacted engineers to halt work on the installation and remove the junction box.
Local resident Alex Beaken said: “This is such a shame.
“I was married there and the cars for weddings and funerals stop there as it’s at the bottom of the path to the church door.
“There are so many other places available. Why on earth did this one get selected?”
Ward councillors Amanda Grimshaw, John Hewitt and Faiza Baghoth, said: “Father David has explained to us as ward councillors that the EV charger would impede the correct positioning of hearses outside the church and impede the procession.
“Since speaking to Father David yesterday afternoon, we have taken urgent action to stop the charger being installed.
“However, we know that there is a growing demand for EV chargers in our ward, particularly as many residents do not have off street parking and therefore require on street EV chargers.
“Across Brighton and Hove we’re projected to have as many as 27,000 electric vehicles by 2028.
“So it’s vital we have a good EV infrastructure to meet that need going forward.”
St Helen’s is the oldest church in Brighton and Hove, and part of it pre-dates the Norman conquest.