MORE than 1,500 jobs are set to be created at a new £80m business park development in Bicester — the second major scheme to be unveiled in the town in as many weeks.

Covering 50 acres, Network Bicester is set to be situated at the junction of the newly opened perimeter road Vendee Drive and Howes Lane and aims to provide space for major employers in manufacturing, distribution and research and development.

It follows hot on the heels of the announcement that Tesco and Bicester Village will expand at a site which will also include a 500,000 sq ft business park, creating 3,500 jobs.

Bicester MP Tony Baldry said: “Bicester is one of the fastest growing towns in England and it is really important we do as much as we can to find space for jobs.

Ben Jackson, chairman of the Bicester Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is very welcome. We have already identified Bicester needs 200 acres more of development and employment land to make sure business growth matches residential growth.

“It is not too much as there are almost 5,000 homes being built and there needs to be one job per household, so we are getting there.”

The new development will close to the new Kingsmere Village site where 1600 homes are due to be built and will also be close to Chesterton.

Philip Clarke, chairman of Chesterton Parish Council, said: “We have had numerous meetings with Countryside Properties, owners of the land, over the possibility of planting a community woodland which would act as a ‘buffer zone.’ “They have asked us to review how people feel about it and we are now doing that. The benefits of a woodland area would outweigh the disadvantages.”

The new site would be developed with up to 800,000 sq ft of buildings with units ranging from 80,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft.

An application for outline planning consent is expected to be submitted to Cherwell District Council this month.

Albion Land director Simon Parsons said: “We are already talking to some big names looking to move to the new site.”

Bicester’s growth has already seen supermarket chain Aldi opening its doors in Launton Road, following hardware firm Wilkinsons, which took a prime town centre location.