Plans for huge electric vehicle battery 'gigafactory' at Coventry Airport move a step closer

Warwick District Council welcomed the Government’s announcement meaning it will not ‘call in’ the plans so ministers will not have the final say on if it can go ahead
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Plans for a huge electric vehicle battery factory in the Warwick district have been given the green light by the Government.

The £2.5 billion scheme involves closing Coventry Airport and building two huge new structures on the runway site.

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It would be one of the world’s largest ‘gigafactories’ and create up to 6,000 jobs.

CGI of the West Midlands GigafactoryCGI of the West Midlands Gigafactory
CGI of the West Midlands Gigafactory

The plans had previously been approved by both Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council.

Now the Government has said it will not ‘call in’ the plans, meaning ministers will not have the final say on if it can go ahead. Warwick District Council welcomed the Government’s announcement.

The district council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for the outline plans on January 11, and then referred its decision to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP, due to the scale of the proposals and the location in the green belt.

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Cllr Andrew Day, leader of Warwick District Council said: “The speed of this decision is a clear endorsement by the Government that these gigafactory plans are a national priority.

Mr Gove has cleared the way for efforts to be focused on securing the right battery manufacturer to take on this vitally important facility.

The ambition is simply to ignite a new industrial revolution, to attract fresh investment in the automotive sector, and to create thousands of highly skilled jobs for South Warwickshire.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey called on the Prime Minister to support the gigafactory proposals during last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

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Mr Pawsey reminded the Prime Minister that he had previously asked him in June 2021 to lend his support to the project, arguing that it would create more than 6,000 jobs and provide a boost to automotive manufacturing in the West Midlands.

The Prime Minister thanked Mr Pawsey for his support and campaigning for the gigafactory and praised the proposal for Coventry Airport as “an excellent one, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.”

After Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Pawsey said: “I am pleased that the Prime Minister and the Government are supporting the switch to electric vehicles, which is a key part of the UK’s strategy to achieve net-zero by 2050.

“The West Midlands has a long history of leading automotive innovation and I firmly believe that this gigafactory, combined with the investment of the London Electric Vehicle Company at Ansty Park and Jaguar Land Rover’s historic connection to our region, will lead the way in manufacturing the next generation of electric vehicles.”