MAJOR expansion plans by outlet shopping centre Bicester Village and Tesco have been submitted.
The two companies have put in separate but co- ordinated planning applications to Cherwell District Council and both will need to be approved for the joint scheme to proceed.
Proposals include the supermarket opening a new expanded store opposite its current position off the A41, and Bicester Village opening 30 new shops in its place.
It will also lead to £11m in road improvements on the A41, Oxford Road and Pingle Drive in a move that would cut chronic congestion at peak times.
The multi-million pound plans could also create up to 3,500 new jobs.
The firms say there is massive local support for the plans, based on feedback from a joint exhibition of the proposals in May.
Miranda Markham, community relations director for Bicester Village, said: “The key element that links the plans together is finding a solution to the congestion that affects all parties – local people, Bicester Village and Tesco customers.
“We’ve worked very hard with the county council to identify the best way to solve this problem, so it is very pleasing that the great majority of residents are highly supportive of the proposals.”
Tesco’s move is also anticipated to kickstart development of the 500,000sq ft Bicester Business Park on land between the current Tesco/Bicester Village site and Wyevale Garden Centre to the south.
The supermarket giant wants to build a Tesco Extra, effectively doubling the current store’s size and creating 250 new jobs.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar said: “Feedback from the recent exhibition made it very clear the new store is wanted by the local community.”
Bicester Village would then expand into the current Tesco site with 30 new shops and take over the current 350-space parking area. It would lead to 500 new jobs. Bicester Village has also confirmed it would fund a 700 space park-and- ride at Kingsmere.
A Bicester Business Park, which was first mooted five years ago, would add another 2,800 jobs.
Cherwell District Council cannot say when the planning application will be discussed by councillors, but it will not be on the October 11 meeting’s agenda.
- For more details or to view or comment on the planning application, see cherwell.gov.uk