Almost exactly two years ago, approval was given for: “a replacement two storey building for use as car sales with revised vehicular access from Admiralty Way, roof deck parking, ancillary vehicle repairs, office space and valet buildings.” At the time, it was said that the combined dealership and servicing facilities would be for Jaguar/Land Rover, and that the new facility would support 130 full-time jobs.
You’ll know the site. It’s on the corner of the junction between the Blackwater Valley Road and the A30, and it’s surrounded by a white hoarding. Today’s photo shows the site as it is behind that hoarding.
Well, by last month the wind had changed. A further planning application has made it clear that any new building would not be for JLR, but for “an alternative brand of car…which benefits from different margins… [with] a faster turnover”. We interpret that as meaning ‘cheaper’. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that the new application is for an additional floor on the building, with car storage on the first and second storeys, and also on the roof.
It’s not a surprise that JLR are no longer involved. The car market is going through difficult times and JLR has had to tighten its belt.