THE BOSS of luxury car-maker Rolls-Royce has strongly opposed a 350-strong housing development that would leave its Goodwood plant “effectively in a housing estate”.
Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the marquee brand’s secluded plant in the Goodwood Estate was the only location capable of meeting its exacting requirements.
Proposals for a major residential development at Westhampnett, near Chichester, would leave Rolls-Royce’s attractive working environment “indistinguishable from any UK urban location”.
Mr Müller-Ötvös said: “This proposal will simply extent the suburban development of Chichester eastwards.
“Rolls-Royce will effectively be located in a housing estate that is indistinguishable from any UK urban location - exactly the situation we sought so hard to avoid.”
He added: “The scale and density of this proposed development... may damage the long-term future of Rolls Royce and its role in the economy.”
The bespoke plant was built in 2003 for around £200 million.
There was initial opposition to the plant and motor circuit – but its profile, sunken into the estate with a grass-topped roof, has become iconic and attracts visitors from around the world.
The Commercial Estates Group, which is behind the development, said it would deliver much-needed new homes and provide Rolls-Royce staff with a convenient place to live.
A decision on the development is pending with Chichester District Council.