OBJECTORS to plans to put electric vehicle charging (EV) points on Skipton High Street say it will put the already struggling market under threat.

But the frontager, owner, of the site says the three rapid charging points will only be in operation on non-market days and more such public facilities are desperately needed if Craven is to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Andrew Mear, owner of High Street House adds that of the three market pitches on the setts in front of his property, only two are occupied, while the other has lain empty for ten years.

"Its not going to affect the market, they will only operate on non-market days, logically, you can't use a charging point when there is a market stall there," he said.

Meanwhile, Skipton Town Council, which runs the four times a week market, has strongly objected to the scheme which it says contradicts the status of the public highway and the council's market franchise.

Councillor Peter Madeley, chair of the council's markets committee, said while he did not want to over-state the potential seriousness of the application, it did present a threat to the future of the market.

He said: "Half of the people on the market want to leave; its too expensive and not safe, and now they've got the threat of this. I think it is a very dangerous precedent to set and one which could if it is allowed to go ahead, put the nail in the coffin of the market."

Cllr Madeley said he believed the frontagers - the owners of the properties fronting the High Street who currently were able to charge market traders rents - could decide EV charging points were a more profitable and less bothersome alternative to market traders.

"It would be a lot less hassle, and more profitable," he said.

In its submission to North Yorkshire Council, electric vehicle charging network, Osprey, which has worked with the former Craven District Council on vehicle charging points including in Settle, Gargrave and Skipton, says there is an ever increasing need for high-power EV charging, as well as a need for the provision of slower speed charging for customers who have a longer time to spend.

In its design and access statement, Osprey states: "The development is situated on a small parcel of land outside numbers 67-71, which is already in use for car parking.

" The proposed development will have minimal visual impact to the area, as the chargers and associated electrical feeder pillar are limited to 2.3 metres in height.

"The proposed development is of a small scale, especially when compared to the existing development in the area."

It adds:"The chargers and electrical infrastructure will be located in a row, with protected, hatched, areas in front of each charger to make it easier for users to get out of their vehicles and interact with the charging units."

Osprey continues that the proposed development will 'help to further encourage and support electric vehicle use in the local area', adding that the former Craven District Council had committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, a goal also shared by North Yorkshire Council, which is now the planning authority.

" A large part of this will be achieved through the transition to zero emissions vehicles. To support this transition, a large number of charge points - both rapid and slower- are needed. This proposal is well situated in Skipton town centre to help to address this need."

While electric vehicles currently only account for 2.9 per cent of the vehicles on UK roads, that number is expected to rise to more than 30 per cent by 2030.

Not all homes and EV drivers have access to off-street parking and rely on public charging infrastructure.

People using Osprey chargers can pay at the time using an app, contactless payment, or using a subscription service.