Huge industrial plan on former green belt land near Coventry Airport approved

The site of the 'Gateway South' plan near Coventry Airport. Copyright: Google Earth
The site of the 'Gateway South' plan near Coventry Airport. Copyright: Google Earth

Plans to build a huge development comprising of industrial units, warehouses and a large park on former green belt land near Baginton and Bubbenhall were approved by councillors this week.

The ‘Gateway South’ project will see the land to the south of Coventry Airport become a ‘major manufacturing and logistics development’, and could create around 5,500 jobs in the region.

New roads, footpaths and cycle routes will also be built on the land, as well as a 'community park'. One road off Rowley Road will be used to access the site.

Warwick District Council’s planning committee granted outline permission for the plans at a meeting on Wednesday December 12.

This means the fine details will be decided on in a separate application.

An older, larger version of the development, which included the construction of a hotel and several restaurants, was granted planning permission by both Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council in 2013.

But this was vetoed by the then Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, in 2015, due to the site formerly being on green belt land. Warwick District Council's Local Plan, adopted in 2017, removed the land from the green belt.

District council officers had recommended the new version of plans be granted.

But the plans faced a torrent of objections from local authorities and residents. Around 145 were received before the plans went to committee.

Baginton Parish Council said other major projects nearby, such as HS2, changes to Coventry Airport and the new proposed housing development at Kings Hill, would make the disruption from 'Gateway South' even worse.

A spokesman for the council said: “Although the application claims to have ‘medium negative effects’ on light, noise, traffic and air pollution, the cumulative effects alongside other approved developments represent a significant and tangible loss of amenity to Baginton.”

Bubbenhall Parish Council was also against the plans, and said it objected ‘in the strongest possible terms’ to the development.

In its objection, it wrote: “This application does nothing to address the question of scale or of the harm to the openness of the Green Belt.”

Stoneleigh and Ashow Parish Council claimed the development would increase the risk of flooding in the area.

It also said having a single road to access the site was ‘nonsensical’.