Fen End will become the new home for the Vehicle Operations Team at Jaguar Land Rover after being given the green light by the council planning committee, according to The Birmingham Post.
The 200-acre site was bought by JLR in September 2014 and will become home to around 300 specialist engineers who create special and one-off vehicles, including the firm’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team, currently spread over three different locations; bringing them all under one roof.
The facility was home to the JLR Driving Experience. Before it shut at the end of the season, LRO Editor, Mike Goodbun went there to drive some of the fleet of classic Land Rovers available for members of the public to experience on-site.
The location was formerly a Second World War air base, RAF Honiley, and was more recently the base for high performance rally car builders, Prodrive.
The new site will house workshops, paint booths and offices and is expected to create a host of new jobs as part of the building project.
JLR Planning Manager, Sukhi Clarke explained the move after the plans were approved by Warwick District Council last week: ‘While small in number, the Vehicle Operations Team is a major part of our business, focused on preparing and refining vehicles for global events and product launches – helping customers around the world fall in love with our cars.’
The plans caused concern among some local residents due to part of the site being on green belt land. Some of these concerns were perhaps allayed by Sukhi Clarke, when she said: ‘The first step will see us improve access to the site, helping to reduce traffic on local roads. The building plans also include sensitive landscaping and environmental management proposals, to ensure that the new facility fits in with its local surroundings.’
The sound of Great British engineering will once again resonate around this historic site.