Truce in the battle of the shopping centres

An artists impression of the Banbury Gateway development
An artists impression of the Banbury Gateway development

The backers of Banbury’s 
Castle Quay Shopping Centre appear to have reached a truce with the group behind the Banbury Gateway development.

In 2013 Castle Quay backers Scottish Widows Investment Partnership Plc (SWIP) joined with Banbury Cross Retail Park in launching an unsuccessful judicial review against the Gateway development after its approval by Cherwell District Council, amid concerns over conflicting trade.

However on Monday SWIP announced it will take no further measures to oppose Gateway after its developers LXB agreed it will not build a cinema or food retailer at the out of town park – elements planned for the forthcoming Castle Quay extension.

Jack Davison, account executive at Proteus PR who represents SWIP, issued a statement.

The statement read: “SWIP has been in discussion with LXB regarding the Banbury Gateway development in order to mitigate concerns about the impact on town centre trading, and particularly Castle Quay as a key anchor to the town.

“These discussions have been beneficial for both parties and the outcomes have been positive.

“LXB have reassured SWIP about the intended scale and character of Banbury Gateway, including the fact neither a food retailer or cinema is to be pursued on the site.

“This reinforces the belief that the best location for a new food retailer in Banbury is within the extended town centre and Castle Quay 2.

“As a result SWIP is minded not to pursue a further Judicial Review of Banbury Gateway and accepts that the scheme currently proposed should go ahead. An agreement to this effect has been reached between Castle Quay and Banbury Gateway, allowing both schemes to be built as soon as possible.”

Cherwell District Council’s Planning Committee will today (Thursday) consider revised plans for the Castle Quay extension.

The scheme which was given outline planning permission in February had to be revised after the General Foods Sports and Social Club refused offers to be moved to new premises, preventing the construction of a glass canopy over the canal.

Mr Davison added: “The applicant is committed to ongoing discussions to ensure the best possible outcome for the people of Banbury.”