‘Gateway’ could create 14,000 jobs and solve Tollbar island traffic woes
WORK is underway on plans that could lead to the creation of 14,000 jobs on sites around Coventry Airport.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway is a £250 million scheme to bring land around the Baginton airport into use with jobs in aerospace, the motor industry, technology, manufacturing and distribution.
It is the work of the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership, a joint venture between developer Roxhill and Coventry Airport owner Sir Peter Rigby, which this week unveiled its proposals for the site.
The scheme grew out of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s failed bid to create one of the Government’s 21 new Enterprise Zones last year.
It includes a ‘technology hub’ geared towards automotive, aerospace and digital firms between the airport and the A45, manufacturing and distribution on land south of the airport and the approved Whitley Business Park next to Jaguar Land Rover’s site.
The project would also involve redesigning the notorious Tollbar Island, replacing it with two junctions.
The local enterprise partnership is endorsing the plans, supported by Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council, which will decide any future planning application.
District council leader Cllr Michael Doody said his authority fully supported the project, but stressed this would not prejudice how it dealt with a planning application.
He added: “The unveiling of these proposals is a major step forward and will help us consider the full implications of the development for all our communities.”
There are also plans for landscaping and open space, but Cllr John Hammon (Con, Cubbington) wanted reassurance that views from Bubbenhall would be protected and improved.
But the council’s deputy chief executive Bill Hunt believes the project will open up the “landlocked” Whitley site, ease journeys between the M1, M6 and M40, cut off ‘rat runs’ between Baginton and Bubbenhall and include improvements to the A46 as far as Stoneleigh.
He said: “It’s a sub-regional investment, and clearly 14,000 jobs being created predominantly within Warwick district is going to be a significant boost to the local economy. Having a prestige development like that has a wider effect. Being able to sort Tollbar island out will benefit not just residents but also business.”
A full public consultation process begins this month.
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Weather for Warwick
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South