Plans submitted for new cafe at Peoples Park in Banbury

A planning application has been submitted for the refurbishment of the former toilet block facilities to create a new cafe in Peoples Park in Banbury.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:14 pm
Plans have been filed to create a new cafe in Peoples Park in Banbury. (Image from planning documents filed with Cherwell District Council)

The planning application has been submitted on behalf of Banbury Town Council by local architects, Acanthus Clews Architects.

The current plans being submitted are revised from a similar application submitted two years ago to Cherwell District Council.

The results of a recent survey of the users of People Park show the most significant requests were for toilets and a café.

People Park (file image from Banbury Guardian)

Banbury Town Council is providing both. The toilets are almost finished and will open in the near future.

The new cafe, which the town council leader, Cllr Kieron Mallon, has referred to as a 'refreshment kiosk' with outside seating is expected to open later this year.

Cllr Mallon said: “We are proud that these new facilities for park users will be provided at no extra cost to the council tax payers of Banbury.

"After a year of Covid our main park will be a fantastic place for locals to enjoy when we are all allowed to get back to socialising with family and friends.”

A larger view of the plans for a proposed new cafe at Peoples Park in Banbury (Image from plans filed with Cherwell District Council)

The latest application includes a proposed smaller facility, which will all be contained within the existing building on the park grounds. The previous application included plans for an expansion of the building.

The plans said: "The impact of the Covid -19 pandemic has been twofold, in as much as it puts more emphasis on the importance of open public space and supporting facilities, but has also led to some commercial caution and uncertainty to the future, especially in the recreation and hospitality sectors.

"In reaction to this and in recognition that the previous proposals were ambitious in nature, the revised scheme contained in this submission, whilst based on the same principles has been amended to provide a smaller facility that is contained within the existing building."

There is still an opportunity for officials to look at extending the facility at a later date, should the facility become popular.

The proposal includes an external terrace and seating, extending less into the existing park landscape than the earlier proposals.

The current application said the main entrance will be on the western side of the building which faces the park and pedestrian routes. Plans for the main entrance include a new glazed screen opening to act as a “shop frontage,” and an entrance which visually identifies the use of the building.

The proposed facility is largely seen as a "drop in" café, which provides external seating, encouraging users to enjoy the park across the seasons.

The plans said: "It is hoped that the revised proposals offer a scheme that has far less visual impact than the original proposals, both in terms of heritage and planning and therefore will be reviewed favourably."