24 JANUARY 2022
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
In spite of the official Government policy of keeping open essential local airports Coventry Airport looks doomed. It was 15 years ago moving 750,000 passengers a year for TUI.
Plans for a huge gigafactory by billionaire Sir Peter Rigby at Coventry Airport have been approved by Coventry City Council. It faced serious opposition, not only by regular users, but also the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the scheme in Parliament as “excellent” and said that it was a “wonderful project”.
The reaction by local interests has been vociferous.
In the statement a user group put its views forward. “By ignoring the objections of the Civil Aviation Authority, the All-Party Parliamentary Group and Royal Mail, a dangerous precedent has been set, nationally. A ‘green light’ has indeed been given to speculative property developers who control the nation’s airports”.
Steve Ford, CEO of Sky Harbour UK Ltd, a resident on the 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”.
The application still needs to be referred to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, because the development site sits within the green belt.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
John Reeve, England
The businesses and the people who work for them at Coventry Airport have been stitched up by Coventry City Council (the land owners), the Rigby Group (the airport lessees), the West Midlands Mayor, the members of the Coventry and Warwickshire and the local MP's. No-one at the airport knew anything about this until 1 day before the plan was publicly announced. Furthermore, both Coventry Council and the Rigby Group have told them there will be NO compensation. I suspect anyone thinking of investing in the City of Coventry will think twice now that they have shown their true colours!
Geoff Rosenbloom, United Kingdom
A shocking situation, but typical of Boris Johnsons dictatorial leadership