The proposal for a “Gigafactory”, producing electric car batteries, in Baginton, Warwickshire, has received a “big boost” through government support.
The public-private venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd would see Coventry Airport close, but create 6,000 new jobs and a factory powered by 100% renewable energy (including solar and wind power).
To go ahead, the plant still needs support from a car manufacturer.
In an official statement following the submission of plans, Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, stated: “It is mission-critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry, and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, as well as the future of our planet.”
Councillor George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “There is increasing pressure to ensure the UK is ready to take advantage of electrification, and together, the West Midlands is seizing the initiative to deliver for UK PLC as part of a green industrial revolution.
“We are the ideal location for a gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology.”
Concerns have arisen over the impact on the Green Belt (where the factory will be built), the scale of the development, and the loss of the airfield.
Objections have come from hundreds of sources, including parish councils, countryside charity CPRE, and a cross-party parliamentary group.