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2,500 Jaguar Jobs On Way Despite Nature Fears

Controversial plans to create a business park and expand Jaguar’s design centre in Coventry have moved a step nearer reality, with Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott saying he supports the scheme.

A business park that could create 2,500 jobs is being planned for the site at Whitley. It will support Jaguar’s operations in design and development work.

Environmentalists, including Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, objected to the scheme because they say it will destroy the habitat for plants and birds.

The matter was the subject of a public inquiry in February last year. The inspector who carried it out has backed the use of the land for jobs.

The go-ahead will now be given once certain details are explained further. John Prescott, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, wants to know if building a hotel on the business park can be justified.

More details are also needed about the provision of bus services to the site.

But if these matters are resolved, the planning permission will be given. The scheme includes measures to protect the area’s ecology.

The development includes a hotel, conference centre, nursery and a small retail store.

Cllr Dave Batten, cabinet member (Development and Renewal) said:

“This is excellent news for Jaguar and for the people of Coventry who will be working within the new business park in the future.

“The Jaguar Whitley site is vital in providing high quality employment land to meet Coventry’s needs.

“The business park will create up to 2,500 jobs which will have a significant impact on people’s quality of life and on the local economy,”

Jaguar managing director Jonathan Browning, added:

“I am delighted that the Secretary of State supports the principle of the business park, and look forward to confirmation of the final planning permission.

“I have no doubt that the park will play a pivotal role in strengthening the local economy and providing new employment.

“At Jaguar we are committed to our ongoing environmental responsibilities and will maintain and develop our plans to safeguard wildlife and enhance the ecology of sensitive areas.”


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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 2 Feb 01
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