'Discovery of unexploded Second World War bombs on Coventry Airport site will not delay battery plant plans', say bosses - The Coventry Observer

'Discovery of unexploded Second World War bombs on Coventry Airport site will not delay battery plant plans', say bosses

Coventry Editorial 8th Sep, 2022 Updated: 8th Sep, 2022   0

REPORTS suggesting the discovery of ‘two unexploded Second World War bombs’ on the Coventry Airport site in Baginton would delay the plans for the West Midlands Gigafactory have been rubbished by those behind the project.

Due to the history of sites in Coventry relating to The Blitz, land surveys have to be carried out in case dangerous devices left over from the conflict are discovered.

But, responding to the reports which said the proposals were being put on hold, a spokesperson from West Midlands Gigafactory said: “A Detailed Unexploded Ordnance Threat and Risk Assessment is standard practice for many construction projects and is a precautionary measure given the prevalence of bombings across the country and Coventry in particular during World War II.

“There’s no formal obligation that requires a UXO risk assessment to be undertaken.




“The survey was desk based and suggests a number of standard precautionary measures ahead of work on site.

“This is routine in a city like Coventry.


“It does not have any impact on planning permission secured for the site earlier in the year and will not hold up any works onsite.”

The controversial plans to build the plant to manufacture high-tech lithium-ion batteries for the global automotive and energy storage industries was given the go ahead in January by both Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council, as the 80-acre site (the equivalent of 150 football pitches) spans the two local authority areas.

The £2.5billion Gigafactory at the Baginton airport – which would create some 6,000 jobs – is a joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, which they hope will be operational from 2025.

It would be powered using 100 per cent green energy – including one of the UK’s largest rooftop arrays of solar panels.

There was fierce opposition to the plant by a number of organisations, including Baginton and Bubbenhall Parish Councils which both raising concern at the impact of such a large site on the green belt together with traffic concerns.

Save Coventry Airport campaigners also feared for the future of the airport as a direct result of the plans, claiming an important part of the UK’s aviation network would be lost and needed to be protected as it bridged the gap and linked bigger commercial airports, such as Birmingham International with smaller airfields.

The group added the plans were contrary to the sections of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on aviation, as well as the green belt.

And it said it was a fantastic training ground for future pilots, air traffic control, air crew and other highly skilled jobs so needed to remain and with investment could thrive and be an important part of the quickly progressive future of aviation.

Others objecting include the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation, The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), and Royal Mail, which has a hub neighbouring the proposed site.

Printing

We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Subscribe

Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Coventry Observer.

Recruitment

Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.