McLaren applies for permission...

Ron Dennis, the chairman of McLaren Automotive, has announced plans to build a new factory for the planned McLaren high-performance, high-technology sports cars. This will be located adjacent to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, and will be known as the McLaren Production Centre (MPC). An application for planning permission has been made and if this goes ahead McLaren will be able to build 20 sports cars a day. The facility will be designed to be the most modern and efficient automotive production facility in the UK, employing over 800 people, with an additional 1500 likely to ger work as sub-contractors. The company is aiming to produce its first new generation sports car in 2011. The aim is build around 1000 a year to begin with, rising to 4,000 once the range is completed.

"Ever since we revealed the McLaren F1 sports car in 1992, it has been a long-held dream of mine to launch a McLaren sports car company," Dennis says. "Designing, developing and selling globally the best sports cars in the world is just half of that equation; building them to previously un-matched levels of quality, with ground-breaking technologies in a production facility in the UK is key to satisfying that dream. I believe that if the McLaren Production Centre is given the go ahead, it will be an engineering centre of excellence of which McLaren and the UK can be proud."

McLaren has already been through the process with the Technology Centre and so things should be rather easier this time around.

"It would be easy enough to consider building McLaren sports cars in existing productive and experienced foreign factories; a number of which are knocking on our door," Dennis said. "However, McLaren is a great British company founded over 40 years ago that should, in my view, continue to design and build our own products."

The Woking Borough Council decision on McLaren’s planning application for the McLaren Production Centre is anticipated at the end of July.

The landscape will be re-contoured to screen the building from the public footpath, to ensure a natural appearance and to avoid the need to export large amounts of spoil off site. Specialist consultants have been employed to look at flood risk, biodiversity, land contamination, public open space, trees, and transport to ensure there are no significant adverse effects on matters of acknowledged importance.

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