Tesla’s plans to convert a former Porsche garage in Dorset, U.K., into a sales and service center have received almost unanimous backing from both residents and the Dorset Council as they inch closer to approval — reports The Bournemouth Echo.
Tesla originally submitted plans to take over the site, located at New Road, Ferndown, and turn it into a large showroom and service center with on-site Superchargers on January 19.
If approved, the sales and service center will host the first Tesla Superchargers in Dorset. The most recent Superchargers to go live in the U.K. were the Harrogate location earlier this month, and the Romford location last month.
Residents in and around Ferndown have mostly expressed excitement at the electric vehicle (EV) pioneer’s prospective arrival in their neighborhood. Only one out of the 11 official responses to the application opposes Tesla’s plans.
Paul French, a local, said: “This is a business that we want to attract to Dorset. Very happy to see this site used as a sustainable auto dealership.”
Robert Young, another resident, expressed a similar sentiment and said: “[This] will keep with the prior theme as well as giving the area a much needed facility, with the current nearest Tesla centre being located in Winchester. This should help electric vehicles uptake in the area making for a better experience for all that value air quality.”
One resident, however, expressed concerns that traffic problems caused by road parking at the previous Porsche site may carry over. They said: “As a local resident these plans are unsuitable and disruptive for a residential area, with intrusive signage and increased traffic.”
Tesla’s plans also have the support of the Dorset Council. The West Parley Parish Council has offered no objections to Tesla taking over the site, but it did request that the case officer applies a condition that any illuminated signs only function between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to limit the impact on residents.
“When the Porsche franchise moved to their purpose-built premises in Ferndown, there was much comment on social media and enquiries from residents concerned about the future of the site,” Parish council chair and Dorset Council member Cllr Andrew Parry told The Bournemouth Echo.
“We became aware that the site had been offered for rent and marketed as a car dealership. Tesla currently do not have any local representation and brand growth and dealership requirements would fit with the New Road premises. Their planning application shows modest adjustments for company branding and electric vehicle display and servicing requirements. I appreciate this draws a line under speculation for the immediate future of the site.”
Dorset Council’s highway authority has also offered no objection to the plans.
“We hope Tesla will want to be good neighbours to adjacent properties and appreciative of the parish’s strong sense of identity and community spirit.”
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