First glimpse at £5m civic centre

The Oxford Times: Artist’s impression of the new building. Artist’s impression of the new building.

THIS image is the first glimpse of what Bicester’s £5m new civic building could look like.

The development is the second and final phase of the £70m town centre redevelopment.

It includes a 53-bedroom Travelodge Hotel, a new Bicester office for Cherwell District Council, new library, office and retail units over Franklins Yard car park.

For the first time Bicester Local history Society will have a permanent display area within the library, it has also been confirmed.

The proposals, led by Cherwell District Council, will go out to public consultation next Thursday and Friday January 16 and 17 at the Pop In centre, Pioneer Square, in Manorsfield Road, between 12pm and 6.30pm.

A planning application is expected to be submitted in February, and if approved work could start in May and is expected to take about a year.

Cherwell’s executive member for estates and economy Norman Bolster said: “The Bicester Community Building is the final stage of the town centre regeneration project.

“We have worked hard to strike a balance so the new building will complement and enhance both the modern Pioneer Square development and Bicester's Old Town, while providing a hub for services and business.

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“While we are satisfied this project will achieve these objectives, we want to encourage as many residents, traders and visitors to view the plans and give their feedback.”

The five-storey building will face the new Wesley Lane/Wesley Square and Pioneer Square.

The ground floor will include offices for solicitors Brethertons and Cherwell District Council, as well as a restaurant and shops.

On the first floor will be the new Oxfordshire County Council Library, including space for the history society, and further office space – some also occupied by Brethertons.

Bob Hessian, chairman of Bicester Local History Society, said: “For the local history society’s point of view it’s great news. It’s the start of a bigger and better presence for the history society.”

A Travelodge spokesman said: “We look forward to finalising arrangements as quickly as we can, and look forward to opening a hotel in the heart of Bicester.”

The plans will also be available at the council’s office in Market Square until January 31, or to comment online view http://consult.cherwell.gov.uk/public/bcc

Comments (1)

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3:55pm Fri 10 Jan 14

scampbird says...

Where did the hotel come from? Where are they expecting the hotel residents to park? This is too big, will dwarf surrounding houses and look completely out of place - just as the hideous new Sainsburys does. Well done Bicester. I look forward to voicing my disapproval, undoubtedly to zero effect.
Where did the hotel come from? Where are they expecting the hotel residents to park? This is too big, will dwarf surrounding houses and look completely out of place - just as the hideous new Sainsburys does. Well done Bicester. I look forward to voicing my disapproval, undoubtedly to zero effect. scampbird

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