Cherwell District Council’s planning committee agreed on Thursday, August 23, to approve the plans by Scenic Land Developments, subject to agreement over s106 contributions.
Permission for development of the largely agricultural 13.1-hectare site, north of Bicester Avenue Garden Centre and close to a Tesco store which opened in 2016, was granted in 2010. That consent was for 53,000 sq m of commercial space and 7,000 sq m of hotel space.
The new scheme is for 60,000 sq m of B1(a) office space, 15,000 of which could be B1(b) research and development. The buildings (11 in total) will be of three or four storeys.
The site will have 2,000 parking spaces and councillors had concerns over increased dangers on the A41 from the extra traffic. It is likely to be addressed in s106 discussions.
Cllr Debbie Pickford, ward member for Bicester West told the meeting she disagreed with the perception that any new warehousing would be bad.
She went on: “I do believe Bicester needs different employment, badly. They need high-tech, good offices and should we grant this, it will encourage, perhaps, universities or the like.
“I’m mentioning that because I’m thinking of Oxford Business Park, and that type of thing.
“That would improve the earning power overall, socially for Bicester and that’s been this council’s aim for so long – to try really hard to keep the people in Bicester to work and not have a dormitory town, which we have suffered since I have been in Bicester and that’s getting on for 35-36 years.
“So I do believe this will be good for overall Bicester and it will give the young children at school, some view that they can live in Bicester and earn money without traveling all over the world. And the aspirations of the school, probably, will pick up to match.”
The application went through with 13 in favour, two abstentions and none against.
Source: Thames Valley Property No 128 (tvproperty.co.uk)