Window shopping: Banbury’s Castle Quay shopping centre set for window refurbishment to improve 'visual impact'

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Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury will get refurbished windows after a district council was granted planning permission for the changes.

The shopping centre in Banbury was purchased by Cherwell District Council in 2017 but figures in 2023 showed the destination is now worth less than a third of what the authority previously paid for it.

Now, the council has decided to add three new windows and alter two existing ones to improve the “visual impact” following a vote of approval from councillors in a planning meeting on Thursday last week.

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A planning paper says: “The applicant (Cherwell District Council) seeks planning permission for the enlargement and alterations to two existing windows and the insertion of three additional window openings into the north-eastern elevation of the building to match those of the existing and proposed.”

Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury will get refurbished windows after a district council was granted planning permission for the changes.Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury will get refurbished windows after a district council was granted planning permission for the changes.
Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury will get refurbished windows after a district council was granted planning permission for the changes.

Banbury Town Council and other consultees did not raise any objections to the application.

The changes to the window was described as being “to do with the visual impact” by senior planning officer Michael Sackey in Thursday’s meeting.

The news comes after some councillors have criticised the former Conservative administration’s handling of the investment with Green Kidlington councillor Ian Middleton, a business journalist and retail analyst, being particularly vocal.

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Cllr Middleton previously brought to light details in annual financial statements which revealed the shopping centre was worth £21.6m – less than a third of what the council paid on purchase, which he described as “staggering”.

He added in May that the combined losses on Castle Quay to £89.8m – 67.5 per cent of the £130m invested in the shopping centre and waterside development since 2018.