PEOPLE will miss out on shopping at Bicester’s new retail park for Christmas as delays in construction have caused its opening date to be pushed back.

Work to Bicester Shopping Park started this January and was scheduled to be completed this month, but now developers say it won’t open for trade until February or March.

The £40 million retail park in Kingsmere will include an M&S Food Store, Nike, Next and Pure Gym.

Although some units will be fitted in November and December, the site, which is being developed by Consolidated Property Group (CPG), will not open this year.

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Dan Bramwell, spokesperson for CPG, said: "The units in Block A will be handed over to the retailers in November for fit-out and those in Block B in December.

“The scheme will be fully complete by the end of January but won’t open for trade until February/March as each tenant completes their fitting out."

Bicester Advertiser:

The developer says the hold-up is due to planning, construction and contractual delays and despite it saying no more details on likely final tenants are available, mobile network EE has confirmed that it will be opening a branch at the site in February 2020.

An EE spokesperson said: "We’re looking forward to launching our first ever shop in Bicester at the end of February, bringing BT and EE products, services and support to the local community.

“We’ll be on the lookout to recruit enthusiastic colleagues in the new year and can’t wait to serve the people of Bicester.”

Although its marketing brochure suggests travel agent TUI will also open at the site, plans have not been guaranteed yet.

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A TUI spokesperson said: “We can’t confirm at this stage but are continually reviewing potential new opportunities.”

Similarly Caffè Nero is 'seriously considering' opening at the site but nothing has been confirmed.

Bicester Advertiser:

The retail park has been a controversial development amongst residents with people worried about the impact it will have on traffic on the A41, which it lies next to.

There are also concerns about the effects it could have on the town centre's existing shops.

Highways work has been ongoing over the past two months to widen the A41 in order to improve the flow of traffic in the area.

This work is almost finished on both the northbound and southbound carriageways, with all traffic management set to be removed by this Friday.

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There will also be a planned night shift in the evening to remove temporary road markings, switch on the traffic signals and open Pioneer Way.

Final roadworks will be to build a new bus lay-by on the southbound carriageway heading towards the M40.