Order may see club demolished to enlarge mall

Banbury GF Club
Banbury GF Club

The future of the popular GF Sports and Social Club may be out of members’ hands if developers of a planned shopping extension win use of a compulsory purchase order.

The club committee has vowed to fight such a move ‘as far as we can’. Chairman Rob Marshall said: “The only alternative place they’ve offered is a three-storey building with underground parking on Chamberlaine Court car park. With live music events that’s no good at all, next to a block of flats for elderly people.

“Chamberlaine Court is dead against it. There’s nowhere for us to go. We wouldn’t exist if we were located out of town.”

Planning officers at Cherwell District Council have recommend approval of Scottish Widows’ outline plans for a huge extension to Castle Quay.

‘Castle Quay Two’ (CQ2) would require demolition of the north car park and GF Club to make way for a supermarket, cinema, restaurants, 92-bed hotel and a glass canopy over the canal, linking the malls.

Councillors at the planning committee at Bodicote House on January 9 will consider a 58-page petition with 1,044 signatures from GF club users and 80 letters of objection.

Objectors include GF Club and Banbury Town Council.

Banbury Civic Society is pressing for relocation of the bus station to Matalan and removal of the Castle Street roundabout to provide attractive access to connect the old town centre and Castle Quay.

Inland Waterways fears for the use of scores of moorings, warns about potential conflict between boaters and those using entertainment facilities and believes the development would sound the death knell for Banbury Canal Day.

“The association is unable to envisage how the very popular annual event... can continue if these plans go ahead,” it says.

Oxfordshire County Council has voiced reservations over access and insufficient parking.

A full report and details can be seen by clicking View a Planning Application at www.cherwell-dc.gov.uk and entering the number 13/01601/OUT