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Bicester Village plan hits troubling delay
PLANS to expand Bicester Village and build a new Tesco have been delayed.
The existing Tesco supermarket is to be demolished, making way for the shopping outlet’s expansion.
The supermarket firm received permission in January 2013 from Cherwell District Council to build a new and bigger store off Oxford Road, which was scheduled to open in 2015.
But Tesco told the Oxford Mail that the plans were being delayed. It has yet to explain why.
It was hoped the development would stimulate plans for a new business park on the land, creating 2,800 jobs.
It would have brought a further 700 jobs to Tesco and Bicester Village and provided funds for £11m worth of road improvements.
This would include a hamburger-style roundabout at the A41 junction which would cut peak congestion.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We would still like to build the new store and are currently considering timescales for construction.
“We will keep the community updated as we move forward with our plans.”
The Bicester Village extension on to the current Tesco store at Pingle Drive would create 30 new stores and 350 parking spaces.
Asked if building work could start later this year, the spokesman said she could not confirm this.
Digging has taken place at the Oxford Road site at the request of the county archaeologist, they confirmed.
Bicester Village community relations director Miranda Markham said: “We are aware that Tesco have delayed their plans, and this will have a knock-on effect on our own timetable.
“We are waiting to hear details of their revised programme.”
Town, district and county councillor Les Sibley said the scheme is “vital” adding: “This will give real cause for concern.
“The whole thing hinges on people moving around. Tesco building its new store, Bicester Village expanding, the road improvements and business park being built.
“It’s like a pack of dominos. If Tesco pulls out the whole deal would collapse.
“This could put us back 10 or 20 years in terms of infrastructure for Bicester.”
Developments in the area
- Work is due to start soon on the first phase of the 6,000-home eco town at North West Bicester.
- Plans for phase two of Bicester centre regeneration have been submitted. Proposals include a civic building, 53-bedroom hotel, new library, retail units and offices.
- The first track of the new Oxford to Marylebone via Bicester rail link is due to be laid this month. The Evergreen Three project will see new stations at Bicester, Islip and Water Eaton.
- Building work on the new Kingsmere estate is underway.
- Cherwell District Council is this month set to buy land at Graven Hill from the MoD. The site has approval for up to 1,900 homes.
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