Cherwell launches consultation to help map Banbury’s future

Councillor Michael Gibbard ENGNNL00120120810140155
Councillor Michael Gibbard ENGNNL00120120810140155

Feedback is being sought on the document that will guide the development of Banbury over the next 15 years.

At a meeting of Cherwell District Council’s executive yesterday on Monday, members agreed to approve the draft Banbury Masterplan for a six-week public consultation.

Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “The Cherwell Local Plan outlines our preferred sites for development across the whole of the district and what the Banbury Masterplan does is expand upon that to provide more detail about development within the town centre.

“Like the Local Plan, this document will be used to guide the development of the area until 2031 so it is important that the people we are delivering this for are supportive of the proposals.

“The growth of Banbury over the next 15 years is about more than just providing houses; it is about providing the jobs and facilities so people can live, work and relax in their hometown.

Regenerating the land around the Oxford Canal is a key feature of the masterplan, with both Spiceball and Tramway earmarked for development.

At Spiceball, it is proposed to create an arts, culture and leisure quarter by introducing new food retailers, entertainment leisure including a cinema and restaurants and cafes alongside the existing sports centre and Castle Quay.

The redevelopment of the canal area will extend down to Tramway where the existing businesses will be relocated to enable land to the rear of the train station and Cherwell Street to be enhanced to include a tree lined avenue, homes and mixed-use buildings.

Elsewhere, Bolton Road will be redeveloped to provide a mixture of residential, commercial and niche retailing opportunities together with a modern multi-storey car park.

Another key aspect of the masterplan focuses on improving transport around the town which will include improvements to Hennef Way and junction 11 of the M40, including a link road from junction 11 to connect into Overthorpe Road. The document also assesses three potential routes to provide a new link between the east and west of the town, connecting the Central M40 site to Bankside.

In addition, the masterplan addresses the need to improve public and sustainable transport by auditing and improving pedestrian and cycle routes as well as relocating the bus station and reviewing existing routes.

The council will also work with Chiltern Railways to agree a development strategy for Banbury Train Station and Tramway will be opened up to allow cars to access the station car parks. The existing access from Bridge Street will then be retained for buses and taxis to alleviate the congestion around the Bridge Street/ Concord Avenue junction.

Planned enhancements for the town including the redevelopment of several key sites, regeneration around the Oxford Canal and opportunities to improve the transport network.

Councillor Gibbard added: “Our plans for Banbury are grand and ambitious but we are confident that we can deliver these proposals to make a vibrant and attractive town centre for everyone.”