Dedicated hotel parking plan dropped

An artist’s impression of the new development

An artist’s impression of the new development

First published in News by

PLANS for dedicated parking spaces to serve a planned town centre hotel have been dropped in a council U-turn.

Cherwell District Council submitted plans for a £6.5m five-storey community building over Franklin’s Yard car park, which will house Cherwell’s Bicester office, a new library, shops or restaurants, offices, and a 53-bedroom Travelodge hotel.

Originally the council said a total of 68 car park spaces in the Sainsbury’s car park would be set aside for hotel guests.

But this week it confirmed “there will not be a dedicated area within the multi-storey car park” – meaning hotel guests will be expected to use other car parks around the town.

The U-turn came as a string of other concerns were raised about the planned development.

Residents said the building is too big, its design is “inappropriate” and it will change Bicester’s skyline.

Dr Terry Reid, of Hunt Close, was one of about a dozen residents who wrote to the council opposing the development.

He said: “The plan to build a new community building has been ruined by the addition of two extra storeys to accommodate a cheap hotel, the need for which is unclear and the design for which is unacceptable.

“At five storeys, this will be disproportionately tall compared to the local buildings and will permanently change the Bicester skyline.

“The building is on the opposite side of the road to a residential area but has tower block proportions and design, as might be found in a city centre.

“The hotel rooms will overlook local residential properties, invading privacy 24 hours a day.”

Michael Sheppard, of Lambourne Crescent, called for the plans to be refused and said the building would have a “negative impact” on the town.

He said the design does not take into account the “relative scale of the building to the human form” and will be over-bearing.

Mr Sheppard said: “The current proposal is not the best that can be provided on the site, do not sell short the people of Bicester.”

English Heritage opposed the building on poor design grounds and said it caused harm to the conservation area.

The council said it had modified the design, but it was planned to be a “landmark building” and that was reflected in its size.

Cherwell’s spokesman Jemma Callow pointed out the proposals were subject to personal taste, and the council had also received many positive comments.

She said: “The design team has made many modifications to reflect initial concerns while maintaining the many uses required of the building occupiers, and staying within the financial envelope.”

Regarding parking, Miss Callow added: “The hotel operators are very experienced in town centre developments and we have had many detailed discussions that have satisfied all their requirements regarding car parking for their clientele and our local issues.”

The application is expected to be decided in the next few weeks.

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Comments (7)

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7:39am Fri 6 Jun 14

Geoff Grace says...

What Cherwell District Council are saying in this article ,is that they are going to give themselves planning permission for this carbuncle despite valid planning objections.
When are Cherwell going to submit a revised planning application to reflect the many changes that they state have been made to the design ?
What Cherwell District Council are saying in this article ,is that they are going to give themselves planning permission for this carbuncle despite valid planning objections. When are Cherwell going to submit a revised planning application to reflect the many changes that they state have been made to the design ? Geoff Grace
  • Score: 1

9:16am Fri 6 Jun 14

brmath says...

carbuncle
carbuncle brmath
  • Score: 0

10:29am Fri 6 Jun 14

interested123 says...

When l went to to exhibition, councillors and officers were obvious by their absence and those that were there were not interested in anything but their own interests as project manager (who had managed the building of Pioneer Square) and the architects. The residents of Bicester are of no consequence to them, they just go back home at the end of the day.
When l went to to exhibition, councillors and officers were obvious by their absence and those that were there were not interested in anything but their own interests as project manager (who had managed the building of Pioneer Square) and the architects. The residents of Bicester are of no consequence to them, they just go back home at the end of the day. interested123
  • Score: 4

11:35am Fri 6 Jun 14

King Joke says...

I'm amazed people will want to stay in Bicester...
I'm amazed people will want to stay in Bicester... King Joke
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 6 Jun 14

rogerjwise says...

i ponder,will there be a designated community bus to be used to ferry the hotel guests-to and fro-between Franklins Yard and Bicester Village.
Travelodge are a highly successful Private company,so why are the public funded District council trying to disguise the development as a community project.
Sir Tony Baldry,recently wrote,via his website and was barely able to contain his admiration of all things Chinese,including how his constituency is home to Bicester Village and how popular this destination is for Chinese vistors.
Baldry,just in case anyone is not aware is the democratically elected MP who should serve and represent the community of North Oxfordshire.
How about Mr Baldry taking a close look at the traffic chaos that has played havoc and effects the community of Bicester,
Why are we seeing so many empty shops and units in the Town center.
Does Mr Baldry consider that he may have let the community down by not pursing his call for a 20 plus bed community hospital,views he aired many years ago.
My own views regarding Sir Tony and his outlook on the local community were heavily influenced by his attitude towards me,at his held surgery,when i had the audacity to ask questions over a well established community sports club in Bicester,the MP not only refused to shake my hand(a world wide recognised greeting)but also swore at me using a strong expletive.
That new spirit that you should only be interested in gaining wealth and forgetting about your relationship to other people.
i ponder,will there be a designated community bus to be used to ferry the hotel guests-to and fro-between Franklins Yard and Bicester Village. Travelodge are a highly successful Private company,so why are the public funded District council trying to disguise the development as a community project. Sir Tony Baldry,recently wrote,via his website and was barely able to contain his admiration of all things Chinese,including how his constituency is home to Bicester Village and how popular this destination is for Chinese vistors. Baldry,just in case anyone is not aware is the democratically elected MP who should serve and represent the community of North Oxfordshire. How about Mr Baldry taking a close look at the traffic chaos that has played havoc and effects the community of Bicester, Why are we seeing so many empty shops and units in the Town center. Does Mr Baldry consider that he may have let the community down by not pursing his call for a 20 plus bed community hospital,views he aired many years ago. My own views regarding Sir Tony and his outlook on the local community were heavily influenced by his attitude towards me,at his held surgery,when i had the audacity to ask questions over a well established community sports club in Bicester,the MP not only refused to shake my hand(a world wide recognised greeting)but also swore at me using a strong expletive. That new spirit that you should only be interested in gaining wealth and forgetting about your relationship to other people. rogerjwise
  • Score: 1

8:43pm Fri 6 Jun 14

CupHalfFull says...

I ponder the type of person who has such a downer on developments in Bicester,
Seems to me from what I've heard that the Travelodge is subsidising the Library not the other way round.
Bicester has far fewer empty shops than many other towns that I have visited, and this is something that the Chairman of the Chambers of Commerce who is not political has pointed out on many an occasion.
I remember lots of politicians leading many people up the garden path about the community hospital, chief amongst them former Health ministers and Cllr Sibley. Everyone forgot that the only people who could deliver the hospital were the NHS who were pretty much unaccountable to anyone except themselves, but who had a budget, and who had investigated the need of a growing town. Frankly I would rather trust the health care profession to know what kind of hospital is needed for Bicester rather than my neighbour or any elected politician.
I would be interested to know what you had done to cause Sir Tony to be so upset with you, perhaps you know he won't put his side of the story here....
I ponder the type of person who has such a downer on developments in Bicester, Seems to me from what I've heard that the Travelodge is subsidising the Library not the other way round. Bicester has far fewer empty shops than many other towns that I have visited, and this is something that the Chairman of the Chambers of Commerce who is not political has pointed out on many an occasion. I remember lots of politicians leading many people up the garden path about the community hospital, chief amongst them former Health ministers and Cllr Sibley. Everyone forgot that the only people who could deliver the hospital were the NHS who were pretty much unaccountable to anyone except themselves, but who had a budget, and who had investigated the need of a growing town. Frankly I would rather trust the health care profession to know what kind of hospital is needed for Bicester rather than my neighbour or any elected politician. I would be interested to know what you had done to cause Sir Tony to be so upset with you, perhaps you know he won't put his side of the story here.... CupHalfFull
  • Score: 2

9:31pm Fri 6 Jun 14

rogerjwise says...

i would imagine the fact i had attended the surgery with empty pockets did not help my cause.
A clue to the size of the hospital,the14 new dwellings being consrtucted as part of the project..
i would imagine the fact i had attended the surgery with empty pockets did not help my cause. A clue to the size of the hospital,the14 new dwellings being consrtucted as part of the project.. rogerjwise
  • Score: 1

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