JUL 99] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Jaguar Whitley Decision Delayed
City Council officers today recommended that the Council support Jaguar's proposal to
develop a Business Park at Whitley. The Planning Policy Team today considered the
recommendation and decided to defer a decision until their next meeting on 15 July to give
them more time to consider the officers' report which had been delayed by computer
The report makes it clear that the City Council is
committed to the protection of the Green Belt and every effort is made to limit its
development by the use of brown-field sites. The City Council also has an obligation to
ensure that job opportunities in the city and inward investment are not restricted by the
amount of suitable land available for development. While future demand will depend on both
local and national economies, additional land needs to be identified to supplement the
high quality, well accessed sites such as Westwood Business Park, Warwick Science Park and
Coventry Business Park now approaching completion or substantially committed.
The report indicates that the site will be particularly
attractive to research and development operations and aims to complement Jaguar's present
research and development activities. Having suppliers as close as possible who are able to
provide simultaneous engineering services is vital for the speedy development of new
products. It is anticipated that the Business Park will create around 2,500 jobs.
The application site does have some recognised nature
conservation value. English Nature has very recently designated the whole of the site as
being a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). This is a non-statutory
designation. In considering their Coventry Development Plan, the Policy Team has taken
environmental concerns into account and has balanced the economic and job creation needs
of the city with those of nature conservation. The published Plan proposes the employment
land allocation but also proposes that there is statutory protection to the river
corridors by designating them as a Coventry Nature Conservation Site (CNCS) as well as
maintaining their Green Belt status.
The application is only an outline application and any
subsequent applications will have to reflect these principles. In addition, the proposal
provides the opportunity to enhance the nature conservation value of nearby Leaf Lane and
to open up public access to the area. The completion of legal agreements including
mitigation measures will be required.
The report indicates the objections English Nature has to
the proposal and includes pages of the comments and concerns of Warwickshire Wildlife
Trust. The report concludes that the economic needs outweigh environmental concerns.
If the Policy Team accept the officers' recommendation, the
application will be referred to the Secretary of State so that he can consider highway
issues alongside the environmental matters and the economic case to decide whether or not
he wishes to intervene and 'call in' the application.
Coventry City Council owns approximately 20% of the land and are joint applicants with
Jaguar Cars Ltd.
Cllr Robert Waugh 024 76 471074
Lesley Wroe, Coventry City Council 024 76 831225
David Lathbury, Coventry City Council 024 76 831295