MOTORISTS are set to lose a well-used car park which has been earmarked for the site of South Oxfordshire District Council's new offices.

The temporary car park opposite Didcot Parkway Railway Station, can house 253 vehicles and has eight disability spaces. It is feared its loss will exacerbate parking problems in the town. There have been complaints about careless parking in streets for years.

Work is now underway on a planning application for the site.

Earlier this month, the council submitted an application for the site next door to the Prince of Wales pub on Station Road to be used again as a car park for two more years.

The permission for the site has been renewed on several previous occasions, the most recently being in 2019, however, it is due to expire on Sunday.

A formal decision on the application is set to be made by September 6, with a consultation period running until Friday, August 6.

However, drivers in Didcot will only have another two years to park their vehicles there before work begins on the new offices – which will replace the former headquarters in Crowmarsh, near Wallingford which was destroyed by fire after an attack in 2015.

Andrew Main, from nearby Rokemarsh drove a car filled with gas cylinders into the building. He was later detained in a mental health unit.

If the new site is built, it is unclear whether the car parking spaces lost will be provided elsewhere town centre.

In a letter published on the council's website, senior development projects officer Aileen David said: "The site has been allocated for redevelopment as part of the wider Didcot Gateway site in the council’s adopted Local Plan 2035 ...and the council have been working on proposals for redevelopment of the site for some years.

"Most recently, the council have identified the site as the location for its new offices and work is underway to prepare proposals to be submitted for planning permission in due course, alongside work on a wider masterplan of the Didcot Gateway site to bring forward development in accordance with Local Plan 2035...

"This work demonstrates the council’s commitment to redevelop the site in accordance with the Local Plan, but redevelopment remains subject to planning permission and remains some way off."

A spokesperson for South Oxfordshire District Council confirmed officers were undertaking a 'comprehensive master plan' exercise with other landowners, which will include examining existing and potential future uses of the temporary car park.

View the car park planning application online at using application reference number P21/S3144/FUL.