Coventry gigafactory: 'Big boost' as government backs plans

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Image source, West Midlands Gigafactory
Image caption,
The gigafactory would be built on green belt land around Coventry Airport

Plans for a huge electric car battery factory at Coventry Airport have received a "big boost" after backing from the government.

The proposal for the gigafactory in Bagington, Warwickshire, would see the airport close and create up to 6,000 news jobs.

Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day said the plans could now "go forward more quickly".

The plant still needs backing from a car manufacturer to go ahead.

Hundreds of objections have been lodged against the plans including from parish councils, countryside charity CPRE and a cross-party parliamentary group which is designed to promote general aviation.

Their concerns include the impact on the green belt, the scale of the development and the loss of the airfield.

Warwickshire planners needed government approval for the green belt development. The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities had three weeks to "call in" the plans to examine them in more detail and possibly reverse the planning committee's decision but chose not to.

"It's a big boost," Councillor Day said. "We're not being delayed."

The blueprint has been put forward by Coventry Airport Ltd and Coventry City Council.

The facility would manufacture electric car batteries seen as key to the industry as car manufacturers, including JLR, move to producing electric vehicles.

The site still needs support from a car manufacturer before the plans can go ahead, however Councillor Day said: "The whole automotive sector is moving rapidly in the EV [electric vehicle] direction."

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