Published on 13 February 2023
Archived on 13 March 2023
Following Stratford-on-Avon District Council's approval for public consultation of the draft Wellesbourne University Innovation Campus Framework Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) plans to make the University of Warwick's Wellesbourne Campus a focal point for innovation and industry, as well as an academic centre of excellence, are a step nearer to fruition.
The document is in response to the university's plans to strengthen existing academic activity at the location, as well as develop parts of the site as a new Innovation Campus covering three key sectors - crop science, agri-tech and life sciences; automotive and autonomous vehicles; and medical research.
It is proposed that, following approval from The Cabinet, a public consultation is undertaken starting on Friday 17 February 2023 and running for six weeks.
It will be launched at the 'Driving Innovation & Growth' Summit to be held at the Wellesbourne University Campus Conference Centre on Friday 17 February.
The role of an SPD is to establish principles to guide design proposals and assess planning applications enabling swifter and co-ordinated processes that will deliver benefits for the environment and the community.
The draft SPD for the university's Wellesbourne Campus will facilitate the design that will enhance the site and make it an international forerunner in innovation and academic research. Established over 70 years ago by the then Ministry of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture (now Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) it has since become home to research from two of the University's departments the School of Life Sciences and WMG's.
Other major international companies have made the campus the base for their research facilities including Corteva Agriscience, Lotus Cars and Rimac Automobili. The University of Warwick's vision is to create a hub of innovation bringing together industry and academic excellence.
The development of the Campus centres around the concept of creating 'innovation hubs' within different zones across the site. The proximity of these hubs would help to promote interaction and collaboration between different organisations within the different specialisms - with the site acting as a 'convergence point' for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
The SPD identifies five distinct character areas or 'neighbourhoods' within the development area.
In line with the Council Plan, the developments at the campus will help to create local jobs. The development of Wellesbourne Campus will enable residents from the local area access to employment opportunities without the need to travel extensively and impact on the carbon footprint.
The Campus will also have great benefits for the wider area. Stratford-on-Avon District will benefit from being a more inclusive and thriving place with an international reputation for innovation and for being among the strongest respondents to the climate emergency with the businesses that it supports. Such a facility would respond directly to the West Midlands region's drive towards improved economic regeneration and resilience and support the local economy.
Councillor Daren Pemberton (Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Place at the District Council) stated: "This SPD outlines a clear strategic policy framework for the development of University of Warwick's Wellesbourne campus as a key innovation and economic growth site for Stratford-on-Avon District and the wider South Warwickshire economy.
"This work, alongside that to see an employment and aviation redevelopment of the adjoining Wellesbourne Mountfield aerodrome, will create the capacity for the University's near market and research activity to grow substantially in line with SDC's emerging economic strategy".
Details of the consultation (including the draft SPD itself) will be available via the District Council's website from Friday 17 February.
The Council will also be hosting two drop-in events to answer questions and provide more information. Details of where and when these events will take place will also be listed on the Council's website from the commencement of the consultation.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575