12 January 2022
Coventry Airport ‘could close tomorrow’ following a decision by Warwick District Council to grant planning permission for a gigafactory to be built on the site.
Councillors on WDC’s planning committee voted yesterday to grant the planning application submitted jointly by the operators of Coventry Airport, Rigby Group, and Coventry City Council.
A plea to add a condition to keep the airport open until a confirmed operator for the proposed gigafactory came forward was rejected. Instead, an unenforceable ‘request’ was made.
The planning application will next be considered by Coventry City Council, one of the parties that put it forward, on Thursday. Details here.
If Coventry City Council agrees with Warwick DC, the proposal will then go to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Michael Gove MP) because it is a green belt site.
Rigby Group insists the airport is not viable. However, aviation businesses at the airport say it has been ‘run down’ resulting in the loss of trade.
Steve Ford, CEO of Sky Harbour UK based at Coventry Airport, said: “Speculative property development, often with no defined end user, is not limited to Coventry Airport but is evident across the entire country.
“In successfully obtaining planning permission for a ‘Ghost Factory’ by the applicants, overnight Coventry City`s airport that defended it in its hour of need, has been turned into a ‘Ghost Town’.
“A legacy that neither Warwick District Council, Coventry City Council or the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) should take pride in.”