Major redevelopment in town centre and new housing areas revealed


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A consultation on proposals for the District’s new Local Plan are due to start later this month

Two town centre areas in Banbury look set to undergo transformational redevelopment if proposals for inclusion in Cherwell’s new Local Plan get agreement.   An area which includes the Bolton Road car park and surrounding land is earmarked for redevelopment into a site for a mix of housing and business use.   A mix of homes and commercial properties could also be created by transforming the industrial area encompassing Tramway, Station Approach, and Lower Cherwell Street, including Banbury United’s ground.

A consultation document on proposals in the new Local Plan says that an average of 1,313 new homes will need to be built in the Cherwell District each year up to 2040.   But when existing planning permission already granted is taken into account the district will only need to give permission for another 5,603 dwellings in order to reach the target.

The proposals outlined focus much of the development around Bicester.   Whilst Banbury is likely to see some more greenfield development it could benefit from the substantial redevelopment of the two town centre areas.

The first indications of the likely scale of development – and where it will happen – have been revealed in documents published for next week’s Scrutiny Committee meeting.

The new Cherwell Local Plan will cover the period from 2020 to 2040.   Subject to approval by the Council’s Executive a public consultation will begin later this month.

The Council is assuming it will need to plan for 26,267 homes being built during this period – and that includes 6,087 homes from Oxford City’s allocation, where space limitations restrict their development opportunities.   2,367 of the target figure have already been built and permission has been granted, or sites agreed, for a further 18,287 dwellings.

Within the consultation proposals the bulk of new development during the Plan’s life will be focussed on Bicester as part of the Council’s commitment to deliver a sustainable Garden Town.  

Banbury will still see growth up to 2040, although this will be less than Bicester and at a reduced level to that of the last 2015 Local Plan.   One suggested development site would see 600 houses built on land between the southern side of Salt Way and Wykham Lane.   Another suggested greenfield site would allocate 220 homes to the West of Dover Avenue on Bretch Hill.

New housing (in orange) between Saltway and Wykham Lane
Bretch Hill

But much of the town’s requirement could be met through redevelopment of “brownfield” existing sites.   200-300 homes and commercial space could be created in the town centre through the redevelopment of the Bolton Road car park and surrounding land.   A further 500 dwellings could be created by redeveloping the industrial area of Tramway, Station Approach, and Lower Cherwell Street, much of which has been in industrial use since the mid-19th century.   Banbury United’s existing ground is included in this area.

The Bolton Road car park and surrounding area is proposed for redevelopment

As well as Bicester and Banbury, Kidlington and Heyford Park are noted as other areas where new development will be focused.

Growth in the villages will be targeted at the larger communities, but is described as being “more limited”, focusing on meeting local community and business needs and “helping to support the vitality of these more rural settlements”.

To the north of the district Adderbury would be allocated 63 new homes, Bloxham 106, Deddington 43, Hook Norton 42 and Steeple Aston 47.   No details are yet available as to where these homes might be built.

Next week’s Scrutiny Committee will comment on the draft Local Plan consultation document before it is taken to the Executive Committee for approval.   A public consultation will then begin.   Following this a final version of the Local Plan could be submitted to the Secretary of State late this year or early in 2024.   That would then become the agreed document that would guide planning decisions in the district, both housing and commercial.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. Cherida   On   05/01/2023 at 11:09 am

    What’s driving this ‘need’ is it financial or social? The majority of housing that’s gone up out of need so far has been so expensive as to not be accessible by locals and ordinary working people. Even the shared ownership houses are going for extortionate amounts of money and the green belt suffers as a consequence

  2. Karen Stiff   On   05/01/2023 at 1:03 pm

    Will the necessary infrastructure be put in place? Health care, education, road/traffic systems etc? It’s becoming impossible to access health care/dental care/mental health care as it stands.

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