Frustration at Gateway decision delay

Tuesday 25th of November 2014 12:00 AM

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has expressed its frustration over a further delay to a decision over the prime employment site in the area.

Proposals for the £280 million Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway development, which could create up to 10,000 jobs for the region, will be decided by The Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Eric Pickles after being passed by Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council.

That decision had been due before Christmas, but officials have now been told that it will not be delivered until the New Year.

The site has long since been identified as the key development site by the LEP, which had called for a swift outcome when the decision was taken in April to call in the plans.

Jonathan Browning, chairman of the LEP, said: “We are disappointed by the delay as we had hoped that it would be determined this year. We called for a swift decision when we submitted our Strategic Economic Plan to Government, because we did not want the decision to be delayed.

“The economy in Coventry and Warwickshire has moved on a great deal since the application was first made, and employment sites are in short supply, especially of the size required by potential investors.

“For example, the former Peugeot plant at Ryton has proved hugely successful in attracting inward investment and space and is very close to being fully taken up.

“A recent report by Savills has highlighted the acute shortage of employment land – especially over 100,000 sq ft – and a rising demand with key transactions so far in 2014 totalling over 3.4 million sq  ft across all the sites of that size  across the region.

“Latest UKTI figures show that Coventry and Warwickshire attracted more inward investment per head than any other area of the country outside London and we have to be able to have a pipeline of strategic development sites to allow that economic growth to continue.

“The growth agenda has been discussed by all local authorities, and the two involved in this site have given their approval and we hope the Secretary of State will follow suit.”

Plans for Gateway include a new technology hub on land north of Coventry Airport and a manufacturing and logistics hub to the south.

Category: Infrastructure