EXCLUSIVE: hypercar factory plan revealed
By Simon Hacker | 12th July 2023
Gloucestershire auto innovators McMurtry Automotive are seeking to build a car showroom with offices and a small factory on land near Wotton-under-Edge.
The proposal, for "class E-business, commercial and service (business unit), comprising a research and development centre", would also include landscaping, parking provision and associated development.
The plan, which Punchline understands looks likely to get approval from Stroud planners, will see a showroom for customers rich enough to buy the record-breaking Spéirling hypercar, a market-disrupting track model for which orders are largely expected to come from affluent customers in the USA and Arab states. As an employment boost, 50 jobs are cited to be contingent on the proposal.
In plans from AH Heritage, the designated green-field site, adjacent to Renishaw's New Mills headquarters, would sit on land owned by Sir David McMurtry, the founder and majority shareholder in Renishaw PLC.
The site is accessed off the B4058 roundabout to Kingswood, but modifications to the plan are understood to seek access via a small lane running along the west of the site, closer to Charfield village.
Punchline has approached McMurtry Automotive for comment.
Parish councillors in Charfield have meanwhile asked for the project to be turned down.
Despite being "mindful of new employment opportunities", the council said it had "considerable concerns over the impact the development would have, on grounds of increased traffic congestion, environmental impacts and on the conflation of Charfield village with the nearby Gloucestershire town and villages."
Peak-time congestion on the B4058, the council added, would be worsened, while the environmental impact was also a concern: "It is green field, and as such the development would destroy another swathe of the countryside between Charfield, Kingswood and Wotton under Edge, leading to the eventual physical joining of the three locations even as they stand in different administrative counties."
Councillors added: "The value of new innovative employment cannot outweigh the burden of additional traffic and the loss of important green space."
In a preliminary consultation with Stroud planners on the project in 2020, feedback to the applicant said: "taking on board the above issues, I feel that if we can address the heritage concerns the benefits of your scheme could justify a departure from the adopted Local Plan and therefore is likely to gain Officer support".
A report for the bid by Morgan Elliot Planning also points out that McMurtry Automotive's focus, beyond its radical elecric car concept, is more broadly "engaged in the development of environmentally friendly and socially focused technologies".
The overall size of the project, says the report, will have a footprint of 4,820 sq m, with a total gross internal floor area is 6,315 sq m. Sixty-three parking spaces would also be featured – with no fewer than 60 of them having EV charging points.
Punchline-Gloucester.com says: "We see this as an exciting proposal as McMurtry Automotive shifts up a gear with its production of the Spéirling, which, suitably, is an Irish word for thunder. Sure, this is no people's car for the fast-growing electric market, but here's a company at the cutting edge of innovation. If Gloucestershire's going to consolidate its pole position in the green economy, this is just the kind of progress we need. What's your view? Contact us here .
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