Controversial Banbury motorway service plan resubmitted

Banbury Employment Hub lorries. The A422 approaching the M40 roundabout. NNL-170425-154214009
Banbury Employment Hub lorries. The A422 approaching the M40 roundabout. NNL-170425-154214009
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Developer Euro Garages has resubmitted amended plans for an M40 service station at junction 11, Banbury.

The much opposed plans were first submitted in May and request permission to build a warehouse, an office block, a vehicle lorry park, a service area, hotel and 600-space car park.

Banbury 15 Employment Hub. View from the A361 towards the M40 and Banbury Gateway Retail Park beyond. NNL-170221-160728009

Banbury 15 Employment Hub. View from the A361 towards the M40 and Banbury Gateway Retail Park beyond. NNL-170221-160728009

The new amended application has only minor, but crucial changes.

The motorway services element of the plan increases in size slightly through additional car and lorry parking as well as parking for vehicles carrying abnormal loads.

This change has been made in order to try to meet minimum standards for motorway service areas as set out in government transport policy.

In addition the layout of the rest of the proposed development has been modified slightly to accommodate the larger motorway services.

Strong opposition to the plans came from communities at Chacombe, Middleton Cheney, Chipping Warden, Cropredy and Wardington with particular concern for the added traffic such a large development would bring.

Peter Gliwitski, chairman of Chacombe Parish Council said in May: “This plan was slipped into the Cherwell Local Plan under a ‘minor adjustment’ and we missed it.

“Banbury is gridlocked when something goes wrong on the motorway. What is going to happen with a constant stream of cars and lorries coming and going from this, especially at peak time?”

It is estimated that the service station would increase ‘vehicle movements’ at junction 11 by 800 per hour.

Additional congestion to the town is likely to occur given the 5,000 extra houses to be built in and around the town as outlined in Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan.

Furthermore the construction of HS2 has ‘major adverse effects’ on the M40 slip roads, the A422 Hennef Way, the A361 Williamscot Hill junction and the Hennef Way/Ermont Way junction according to an environmental statement by HS2 LTD.

The plan features an updated transport assessment as well as further drainage, ecology and landscape information.

There is also a document that addresses whether the proposed hotel could and/or should be accommodated within the town centre first.

Plans for a hotel at the Castle Quay 2 expansion have already been given the go ahead.

The application will be discussed at the January 18 Cherwell District Council (CDC) planning committee meeting but until then the public can view the plans and have their say by visiting CDC’s planning page and searching for application 17/01044/F.