Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has asked the district council to help ensure the potential for long-term expansion at Goodwood.
Although it has stressed there are no current plans for expansion, the luxury car manfacturer has made several submissions on the district’s Local Plan consultation to say that if it were to expand, it would wish to expand adjacent to its existing site in Chichester.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has grown rapidly since it arrived at Goodwood in 2003 and has become a major employer in the Chichester and Bognor area.
But the draft Local Plan Review, which will dictate planning policy up to 2035, did not account for its employment record or the benefits to the local economy, it said.
Responding to the planning policy, conceptual drawings and statements from the company made the case that a ‘bespoke’ scenario should allow for an expansion on land to the east of its Goodwood site, north of Stane Street and any new buildings, should they eventually be planned, could be sensitively set in the landscape.
It stated: “R-RMC’s operations are currently split between two locations; Goodwood and Bognor Regis.
“To introduce a third location would be highly inefficient and would lead to additional lorry movements.
“The creation of super luxury, bespoke motor cars requires highly efficient production techniques, a dedicated well trained workforce and the latest facilities.
“To ensure the required level of quality, these operations need to ideally be housed in a single location.
“Multiple locations result in parts being handled many times, increasing the risk of damage and delays to the delivery of customer’s vehicles.
“It is simply impractical to provide for possible future expansion at any location other than on land adjoining the existing site.”
Submissions added that the Goodwood manufacturing plant had gone from producing 350 cars a year to around 4,000 cars in 2018 on two production shifts to meet global demand.
Jobs created by the firm have also boomed, with more than 2,000 people employed by the car manufacturer.
Now the company has said it has ‘fully utilised the capacity of the existing site’ and ‘future proofing’ for possible expansion is a standard practice for all of its parent company’s production sites.
A spokesman for Rolls-Royce said: “The submission is normal local plan process and does not reflect any current plans for expansion.”