Permission granted to build on Coventry Airport

Coventry Airport

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.”

Save Coventry Airport campaign

See 15 comments


  • Jane GIFFOULD says:

    I thought the government was pushing for UK to be the top country in GA. So why is an airport which can offer so much to the local businesses being closed. Or is this yet another hot air and no action by the government?

  • Sleeve says:

    Another blot on the record of connivance between unaware, amateur councils and smart developers and their lawyers. Maybe now Grant Shapps should take a long look at the way these developments are cynically progressed to the detriment of the actual good to the local population.
    Perhaps the only good that will come out this is the realisation of the increased importance of keeping Wellesbourne Mountford accessible for the use of the business flying community. There’s nowhere else.

  • Viv Porteous says:

    I’m 5th generation of family in Coventry & have never been so ashamed, of the councils action on this !

    They need to take a good look at what we loosing & health risks that will be introduced !

  • Tony Marmont says:

    We need local business aircraft , an emergency landing field , as well as a flying training,, and aviation related activities

    • Michael says:

      Forgive my ignorance but what benefits do the local Warwickshire aviation members bring to the community? I can only think of flight training, leisure and travel for a few hundred local business people a year. I would say a giga lfactory is great idea for jobs, housing and hopefully decent retail and shops (sick to death of cheap Coventry shops). It will certainly help long term.

      • Dave Calderwood says:

        If a gigafactory is to be built there, that is the question. The fact is that Rigby Group is incapable of operating the airport at a profit (their admission) so instead they want to realise the value of the site by building on it. Chances of a gigafactory being built there? Who knows, possibly zero. There is no taker at the moment. Chances of a one-off win in terms of house-building, high. This is property speculation.

      • Harry says:

        That is an interesting question, Michael. Where should we train our pilots?

      • Adrian Beney says:

        They don’t have a builder and JLR has already got one.

      • Tony Cleworth says:

        Have you actually read and taken in what you’ve written??

        “I can only think of flight training, leisure and travel for a few hundred local business people a year”?!

        That is exactly the point! How many people and families do think hundreds of business people support in their BUSNISSES!!

      • Harry says:

        So, in a nutshell, are you saying pilots are in a minority and should, therefore, be discriminated against?

  • Ivor says:

    Officialdom in the UK has never had much of an interest in GA, and has on occasions been directly hostile. And usual, we will see the more enlightened countries and governments, who are aware of the value of it, reap the benefits. There’s never been a lack of British short-sightedness.

  • martin lyndell aspden says:

    the airport is on a near greenfield site on the outskirts of coventry.since the present operators took over the radar was switched off& flying discouraged opening times reduced,fuel prices increased,no effective control tower,there has beena connivance between the developers,current lesees,warwick district council who have opposed every development,coventry council hoping to make as wdc are from business rates,more than the current site offers.pure greed on behalf of every council member,to hell with the local residents,the rigby group must be turning cartwheels of joy,money talks.

  • Mike Roberts says:

    We attempted to relocate our business to Coventry Airport following eviction from Wellesbourne (as our business had prevented that site from
    Closure and Demolition). Having been offered terms the landowners at Coventry pulled the plug at the last minute. When I questioned the local authority in Coventry about this and why the landowners were turning down new business seemingly to make the airfield unviable, I got a very weak response. When I responded saying that Coventry City Council (who I understand granted the lease) with the landowners apparently paying little or no rent until the airfield was profitable) were complicit in the landowners deception, deliberately making the site unviable, I received a threatening letter from the councils solicitors! We need drastic action to prevent the destruction on the UK airfield network. Airport operators deliberately making sites unviable to obtain planning advantage is nothing short of fraudulent to my mind.

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