Make new battery factory a 'beacon for sustainable future' say Green Party councillors
By James Smith
13th Jan 2022 | Local News
The new electric car battery factory at Coventry Airport could be "an outstanding beacon of our sustainable future" according to local Green party councillors.
Planning approval for West Midlands Gigafactory, which was granted by Warwick District Council last night, has been welcomed by local members.
Green councillors have hailed the plans as a "massive contribution" to tackling the climate crisis as well as a source of local employment.
But they have also called on the developers to make the factory a leading light in tackling climate change.
"This is an opportunity to create a facility that not only delivers the batteries needed by the motor vehicle industry but is also as green as possible in construction and operation," said Cllr John Dearing.
"But the UK's biggest battery-producing plant should itself be climate change proofed. The current proposal fails to be truly fit for the future in two major respects."
With the building only likely to meet current planning regulations Cllr Dearing said it won't go far enough to minimise carbon emissions.
"The Green Party challenges the developers, and Coventry City Council as landowner, to build the factory to the BREEAM 'outstanding' standard.
"This standard would minimise carbon inputs in the building materials and the construction process. They should also monitor the performance of the building in use to ensure ongoing carbon dioxide emissions are as low as possible."
And to help minimise its carbon footprint further, Green councillors said the factory, which could employ up to 6,000 staff according to CCC, should be connected to the proposed Very Light Rail.
"The VLR will be battery powered and might well use the batteries produced in the Gigafactory," added Cllr Dearing.
"The Green Party therefore calls on Coventry City Council, the LCWEP and the developers to ensure that the Very Light Rail system is extended to the Gigafactory at the earliest opportunity."
CCC's planning committee will vote on the plans tomorrow night.
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