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Business park row

Banbury Cake: Kevin Pearce Kevin Pearce

PLANS for an £80m business park have come under fire from residents living opposite the site.

Last Friday developer Albion Land unveiled proposals for the 70,767 sqm site on the corner of Middleton Stoney Road and Howes Lane, in Bicester.

Its “illustrative” plan showed five three-storey warehouses of between 80,000 sq ft and 200,000sq ft, two smaller office blocks and a new roundabout creating an entrance to the site off Howes Lane.

Albion Land is hoping to submit an outline planning application to Cherwell District Council this month for light industry, general industrial and warehouse and distribution.

But people living at nearby Greenwood Homes estate have raised concerns about the type of business, traffic and operating hours.

Elaine Jell, of Beckdale Close, said: “Everyone expected houses or small business to be built at the site so it would be quite quiet.”

Neighbour Sarah Walbyoff, said the site was better suited to offices than manufacturing and distribution, which could be built away from houses next to Bicester Avenue, off the A41 Oxford Road.

She said: “You do need to provide employment if you keep increasing the size of the town, but it’s where you put it.

“I am not happy about a 24-hour operation going on at the end of my street.”

Town and district councillor Les Sibley, who also lives in Greenwood Homes, said: “You are going to have buildings twice the size of residential properties – people will open their curtain and look at monster properties.”

Mrs Walbyoff pointed out Howes Lane was too narrow for HGVs and believes the entrance to the site should be in Middleton Stoney Road away from the majority of homes.

The firm hope to get a decision by the end of the year and say the first building could be up in 2014.

Director Kelvin Pearce said: “What we are doing is offering this with consent and saying the doors are open.

“We start with a clean piece of paper, a company would outline a premises for us to design and build.”

Local Businesses

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