‘Cars of the future’ centre plans unveiled

July 31 2018

A PLANNING application for a new research centre in Emersons Green has been submitted to South Gloucestershire Council, with the aim of creating hundreds of jobs in the area.

Work is set to begin next year on the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) at the Bristol and Bath Science Park. It is due to open in 2020 and will pioneer the development of ultra-low emission vehicles. 

The aim of the development, which is going to be built next to the National Composites Centre, is to use the engineering expertise of the University of Bath for the benefit of the UK’s car industry.  £28.9 million worth of funding for the project has been received from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and IAAPS is set to create an additional £800 million turnover for the UK automotive sector and nearly 1,900 new jobs.

In addition, the centre will help to address the engineering skills shortage facing the UK automotive sector, supporting new apprenticeships, honours degrees, masters and doctoral courses.  It is also hoped that by 2023, it will be one of the top three sites in the world for automotive powertrain research.

The planning application (reference PK18/2422/RM) includes plans for a 13,250 square metre building (which is the size of 1.8 football pitches), as well as parking for cars and bicycles. 

Regarding the impact of the construction on residents, the planning application states: “The application proposals will not give rise to any significant adverse impacts for local residents. The nearest residential properties are located some distance to the east of the application site and are separated by an undeveloped plot of land also within the Science Park boundary. A Noise Assessment accompanies the application and demonstrates that no significant impacts will occur.” 

The University of Bath have also submitted two additional applications for planning permission and listed building consent (references PK18/1864/F and PK18/1865/LB) for the proposed refurbishment and restoration of the listed Newlands Farmhouse which is located on the site, in order to allow it to be used as meeting and office space within the IAAPS development.

The planning application can be viewed on South Glos Council’s planning website: http://developments.southglos.gov.uk/online-applications/ 

The application is open to receive comments from residents and the decision deadline is Wednesday August 22.