Coventry firm London Taxi
International has unveiled plans to leave their factory in Holyhead
Road, but faces staunch opposition from residents.
The firm says it needs to move
to newer and bigger facilities elsewhere in the city, and wants to
transform its current site.
Among the plans submitted to
Coventry City Council are a new B&Q warehouse to replace the
existing B&Q on the Alvis Retail Park, which will create 260 jobs.
There will also be enterprise
units for small businesses to use and a new hotel restaurant. Between
them these developments are expected to create 100 jobs.
Barry Widdowson, managing
director of LTI, urged people to get behind the scheme so LTI could
“At a time when the West
Midlands motor industry is suffering real problems after the BMW
sale of Rover and the Rolls Royce job losses at Ansty it is vital
that Coventry supports LTI, an acknowledged world leader, in its
plans to raise the finances for a new factory in the city.
“We want to stay in
Coventry and have identified a number of potential sites for a new
factory. But we need to raise enough money from the sale of our
existing factory to finance the purchase of a new factory and
fitting it out.”
But residents living near the
factory are opposed to the scheme as it will attract more traffic to
the already crowded Holyhead Road.
Kevin Noble, vice chair of
Spon End Red Brick Residents’ Association, said:
“Anyone who tries to drive
down Holyhead Road on a Saturday will know how busy it is already.
“The area cannot support
another retail park. We are worried about being squeezed between the
city centre and this retail development.”
Mr Noble said claims by LTI
that 75 per cent of residents support the scheme are misleading, as
very few people responded to the consultation when it was carried out
in Autumn 1999.
“We advised people not to
reply as we would wait until the planning process started. We will
be giving our views to the city council.”
Mr Noble said residents
supported LTI’s plans to look for a new factory, but said the area
should be used for economic regeneration, and not retail. He said:
units’ are only in the plans because we asked for them. It is just
a row of garages. We are worried that jobs are going to be lost from