A HUGE new service station and 'employment hub' by the M40 could bring 1,000 new jobs to Oxfordshire.

Euro Garages, which runs Cherwell Valley Services, is in discussions with Cherwell District Council about plans for the site that would cover 12 hectares between junction 11 of the M40 and the A361 to the east.

As well as a service station it will feature offices, storage and distribution facilities, a hotel and a pub.

Banbury Town Council leader Kieron Mallon hailed the potential boost to new jobs in the area.

He said: "This is still in the very early stages and it has to go through the full planning process.

"But if it creates 1,000 jobs in Banbury that would be a massive boost to the local economy.

"The fact that companies from the UK and from further afield want to locate to Banbury is fantastic.

"It shows they have confidence in the town and the very qualified work force that they need."

A public exhibition for the proposed service station site, known as Banbury 15, was held in Banbury Town Hall last week.

It is contained in the district council's local plan and sits opposite Banbury Gateway.

Mr Mallon said: "We see Banbury as the heart of England and clearly these companies do also.

"The fact that we are an hour from London and 45 minutes from Birmingham and on fantastic rail and motorway links all adds to the attraction."

Euro Garages has recently merged its forecourt and retailing businesses and has a combined turnover estimated to be in excess of £6bn.

Its sites in Oxfordshire include Cherwell Valley Services and the Marcham Road petrol station and Spar in Abingdon.

Euro Garages senior planning manager Tom Jeremiah said: "Our plans for Banbury 15 support Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan which allocates this site for employment use.

"It will be a fantastic addition to the town, providing new jobs and making the most of Banbury’s fantastic location.

"During our consultation, we received many supportive comments from local people and will now spend some time analysing the feedback before we submit a planning application to the council."

EuroGarages sites vary in size, with petrol at 60 per cent of them provided by Esso, while Shell and BP serve 20 per cent each.

Their service stations also include shops and restaurants run by Starbucks, Subway, KFC, Greggs, Spar, Burger King and Sainsbury's.

The site was sold to Euro Garages by White Commercial, whose managing director Chris White met with Cherwell District Council this week to discuss the plans.

He said: "This is an excellent strategic purchase by EuroGarages and will create a valuable addition to the company's UK operational and property assets.

"White Commercial worked very closely with the landowners and appointed David Lock Associates to assist in the master planning and planning strategy for the site."