Conservationists have warned that a planned business park next to
Jaguar’s Whitley plant would wreak havoc on the environment.
Birds such as skylarks and meadow pipits and insects including the
white marbled butterfly would lose their habitat if the bulldozers
were allowed to move in.
Environment charity Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is calling on a
government planning inspector to reject the application to build on
Coventry City Council is supporting the application by Jaguar to
build on the land as it could create up to 2,500 jobs.
Andrew Thompson, conservation manager for WWT, said if the scheme
was given the go-ahead it would be vital that other land was made
available and managed well to support the area’s nature.
Currently Jaguar is offering two patches of land around nine
hectares in size as an alternative to the current land, which is 30
Mr Thompson was today meeting with the planning inspector and
representatives of the applicants to discuss the options if the site
should get the green light.
He said he was looking for a long-term commitment to the management
and upkeep of any new site near the River Sowe to allow the nature
there to flourish.
Mr Thompson said:
"We consider that the whole of the grassland area affected
by the development as a site of importance for nature conservation.
It is one of the few grassland areas in and around Coventry.
"Quite a number of the companies that would be expected to
move in to this business park were described in the inquiry as
footloose. The specific location next to Jaguar is not important to
them – having a high quality site is.
"There might be some grounds for the extension of the Jaguar
plant to keep jobs in the city, but we think the other development
should go elsewhere.
"Many of the jobs they create will be for people like
scientists who will move into the area and will probably live in
villages in Warwickshire rather than Coventry."