On 10th July 2023, the Council adopted the Framework Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the University of Warwick Innovation Campus, near Wellesbourne. The SPD will now be used to guide the University and planners in achieving environmental, social, economic and design objectives as they seek to develop the site for design and research and educational purposes.
The Wellesbourne University Campus site is located to the northwest of Wellesbourne and has a long history of research relating to agriculture, becoming the Horticultural Research International (HRI) in 1990. In 2004, the University of Warwick became associated with the site and in 2010 the School of Life Sciences was formed following the merger of Warwick HRI and the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to the School of Life Sciences, the campus is home to some automotive research activity from Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG). A small number of businesses also have a presence on the campus. The Campus currently has about 400 people working there.
The University is developing a long-term strategy for the campus; in addition to strengthening existing academic activity at the location, it wishes to develop parts of the site as a new Innovation Campus covering three main sectors, namely: crop science, agri-tech and life sciences; automotive and autonomous vehicles; and medical research.
To help achieve this long-term strategy for the site, in conjunction with Warwick University, the District Council is preparing a Framework Masterplan SPD in relation to the re-development of the Warwick University Innovation Campus.
The SPD is being produced to provide additional guidance on the interpretation and implementation of Core Strategy Policy AS.9, which sets out the principles for considering development proposals and other initiatives relating to the Wellesbourne area.
The Policy ‘hook' for the development of the Wellesbourne Campus is point 6 of sub-section C (Economy) of Policy AS.9, which states SDC will “Support the use of the Horticultural Research International (Warwick University) site for research and development and educational purposes."
The University of Warwick Campus at Wellesbourne is also listed as one of several ‘Specific Site Proposals' (Proposal RURAL.2) within the council's emerging Site Allocations Plan (SAP). RURAL.2 proposes to deliver an “Innovation Campus comprising a facility for advanced research, development and skills" on the northern part of the campus, which equates to the area covered by this SPD.
The District Council held a 6 week public consultation on the Wellesbourne Innovation Campus Framework Masterplan SPD. This consultation has now closed.
The consultation documents can be viewed via the links below: