New Banbury M40 plans submitted to Cherwell

Banbury 15 Employment Hub is once again in developer sights
Banbury 15 Employment Hub is once again in developer sights

Proposals for a strategic employment site at Junction 11 of the M40 have been submitted to Cherwell District Council.

Previous plans for Banbury 15, which included stand-alone offices and a motorway services area, were refused last year by Cherwell’s planning committee.

M40 congestion

M40 congestion

They were opposed by various parish councils, Banbury businesses and the Banbury Chamber of Commerce for reasons including congestion, need and appearance.

Prepared by Monte Blackburn, the new proposals would deliver a mix of B2, industrial and B8, warehouse space, as well as ancillary offices.

There are also plans to improve the pedestrian subway running underneath the M40, along with investment in public transport.

A Monte Blackburn spokesperson said: “Initial proposals for Banbury 15 were refused at planning committee so we listened carefully to the statements made by councillors, for example that there was little demand for office space and no appetite for motorway services.

“These new plans respond far more directly to the specification set out in the Local Plan and suit this location extremely well.

“In recent months we have had several productive discussions with planning officers at Cherwell District Council and have been very pleased with the response we have received.

“As an allocated employment site, Cherwell is as keen to see development come forward as we are so we look forward to continuing this productive dialogue in the months ahead.”

The site, if approved, would provide hundreds of jobs and whilst unemployment in Banbury remains low, studies by MonteBlackburn have found a small, but persistent, level of unemployment in the town.

The spokesperson added: “We have already held early discussions with several potential occupiers and there is significant interest in taking space in this location. If approved, this site could be in operation within two years, contributing to Banbury’s economy and employing local people.

“This is an important opportunity for Cherwell and we look forward to working closely with the council to deliver it.”