One of Banbury’s oldest social clubs has told its members it will fight Castle Quay plans to redevelop the site with a hotel and supermarket.
The General Foods Sports and Social Club has been at its current home on Spiceball Park Road for more than 40 years, but the site could now form part of a multi-million pound development by the owners of Castle Quay which would include an 88-bed hotel and supermarket with 500 car parking spaces.
Robert Marshall, chairman of the GF Club committee, said: “Whatever plans are submitted concerning the development of Castle Quay, General Foods Sports and Social Club intends to remain as it is and where it is.
“Previously having land purchased by the developers, we believe it is about time the owners and the council move their intentions to the vast array of empty buildings in the town and leave ours alone.
“What sense is there in moving or closing a club that is the home of three dance clubs, hosts 17 sports teams, holds social gatherings and wedding and has more than 1,000 members?”
Castle Quay owners Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) held a public exhibition last month displaying plans for the redevelopment, which could also include a cinema complex and canalside restaurants. Despite the concerns surrounding the future of the GF Club, it has recently seen the erection of a ballroom balcony overlooking the canal.
Mr Marshall said: “We believe it is important we reassure our members and guests that we have no intention of closing and we will continue to enhance the club in its current location.”
Sarah Kenrick, spokesperson for SWIP, said: “SWIP is a long-term investor of Castle Quay shopping centre and is keen to support projects that will allow Banbury town centre to grow and prosper.
“We recognise General Food Sports and Social Club has played an important role in the community for many years and we will continue to engage with the club to secure its future in Banbury.”