A scheme to build a manufacturing hub creating up to 600 jobs at Coventry Airport has moved a step closer after Warwick District Council approved outline planning consent for the plans.
Up to 650,000 sq ft of storage, distribution and industrial space is due to be built by property investment company Ostrava Properties, part of the Rigby Group which also owns the airport itself.
The group also plans to build three other large buildings, taking up 75,000, 175,000 and 375,000 sq ft of space respectively on the site.
The plans were first announced in July 2015, and effectively ended the chance of the airport re-introducing commercial flights which was mooted in 2010 by Sir Peter Rigby, the head of the Rigby Group, just after the company bought the airport.
Andrew Cox, of Ostrava Properties, said a detailed application would follow in a month’s time and work could begin on site as early as spring next year.
The work is expected to take approximately 10 months to complete.
He said: “This is the first step towards creating a modern manufacturing and distribution hub on this ideal location in Coventry.
“The site’s close proximity to the UK’s major motorways is particularly important for the manufacturing and distribution companies who will be attracted to this hub.
“We are very pleased Warwick District Council has given our application outline planning consent and we will now start the next stage of the approval process.
“We are considering building all three units at the same time because initial interest from UK-wide companies has been strong.
“Importantly, we are on track with this scheme and providing all the planning and legal matters continue to proceed smoothly, our plan is to start construction in spring 2016.
“All this is tremendous news since the scheme could create up to 600 jobs which will be a massive boost to the area’s economy and help satisfy demand for this kind of development opportunity in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“This region already has a high-standing in the UK in the manufacturing and distribution sector and these plans will enhance it further.”
The airport closed in 2009 after travel company Thomson stopped using it for commercial flights, and the land has been disused since that time.