Nuneaton vehicle testing facility given the go-ahead

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have given approval for the construction of a Trusted Intelligent Connected and Autonomous Vehicle testing facility in Nuneaton.

The news comes after a final decision on the development was deferred at a planning committee meeting in August to allow the applicant, HORIBA-MIRA, to consider re-siting the track, to allow a member site visit to take place, and to all the highway authority’s objection to be discussed.

There has been much controversy surrounding the application, with numerous objection letters submitted to the council, and concerns being raised in regards to part of the site sitting in the historic Battle of Bosworth battlefield area.

The test site will consist of a large circular area and a wide central approach which will be accessed via adjacent tangential tracks and a turning loop. The main test area is to be a 150m radius circle.

A design statement from the applicant says: “The test track has been designed to enable a variety vehicles to be tested in accordance with a range of international legislation, standards and industry practises and enable research and development to be undertaken at a vehicles limit state.”

A statement released by the council ahead of the final decision reads: “It is considered that the development would provide a number of significant public benefits both nationally and regionally, including the development of a CAV testing facility to drive research in this area which is supported by central government and the creation of over 1,000 jobs within the region.

“Some short term and long term effects on landscape character and visual amenity have been identified. The proposal would therefore have a degree of conflict with criterion i) of Policy DM4 of the SADMP, however the significant economic benefits of the proposed development and the proposed landscaping mitigation outweigh the conflict identified with this policy.”