People in Bicester called for the coronavirus lockdown restrictions to be made stricter.

Non-essential shops, gyms, leisure centres, barbers and beauty salons were closed, but people felt the rules were not being followed by everyone.


A plan to raise the rent for Cherwell District Council’s affordable and shared ownership homes was scrapped.

It came after residents expressed their opposition to the idea in a public consultation that opened in December 2020. The proposal was put forward as one of 53 ways the council could save money its 2021/22 budget.


Bicester residents called for Bicester Town Council to open all of its parks amid concerns that the 12 playgrounds that were in use had become overcrowded.

Bicester Advertiser: Pic by Eddy Xi GongPic by Eddy Xi Gong

The council had not reopened the rest of the town’s parks despite it being allowed under the Covid rules at the time.

A few days after we reported residents' concerns, the town council reopened the parks.


Debate began on possible ways to stop the East-West rail project cutting Bicester in half at the London Road level crossing.

The East West Rail Company was criticised after announcing train services that could mean the barrier being down for 50 minutes an hour when its journeys begin.

Bicester Advertiser: Councillor John Broad at the London Road level crossing. Pic by Ed NixCouncillor John Broad at the London Road level crossing. Pic by Ed Nix

ALSO READ: Bicester's county councillors unite against proposal to close London Road level crossing

A consultation began with six options put forward to keep traffic flowing, including building an underpass, an overbridge or closing the road altogether to vehicles, but many people were not convinced they would work.


Clubs began to leave a sports ground that had been the home of recreation in Bicester for decades.

Bicester Sports Association (BSA) and clubs at the Oxford Road sports ground had to move out no later than May 31, before Bicester Village owner Value Retail took over the site.

Bicester Advertiser:

Kizzy Burt, who coaches about 50 youths, said the squad was sad to say farewell to what they called their ‘happy place’.

Controversial water park resort Great Wolf Lodge was given the green light by the planning inspector.


The senior coroner for Oxfordshire warned there is a risk that future deaths could occur at a Bicester roundabout unless action is taken.

Senior coroner Darren Salter sent a hard-hitting report to Oxfordshire County Council as the highways authority saying that despite improvements to the Vendee Drive roundabout on the A41, ‘there is a reason for continued concern’.

Bicester Advertiser: Vendee Drive Roundabout. Pic by Ed NixVendee Drive Roundabout. Pic by Ed Nix


Parents increased calls for a crossing at a school after a pupil was hit by a car.

Plans to install a zebra crossing outside Heyford Park Free School were dashed earlier last year.

The county council said it had been in discussions with the school and the developer, Dorchester Living, to improve road safety.


Bicester’s Eco Business Centre, in Elmsbrook, won two Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards.

Bicester Advertiser:

The building, which was designed by Architype and opened in September 2019, provides co-working and independent workspace, giving start-ups and small businesses a place to meet, collaborate and grow.


A sports ground can undergo a massive expansion, after plans originally refused by Cherwell District Council were approved by a planning inspector.

Bicester Sports Association (BSA) will upgrade its site in the village of Chesterton, near Bicester, with new pitches for football, rugby and cricket, a new clubhouse and archery and rifle range.

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Securing permission was especially important after BSA sold its ground in Oxford Road, Bicester, to Bicester Village owner Value Retail.


Patients will finally be able to pick up prescriptions closer to home after NHS England approved an appeal to open a pharmacy in Heyford Park.

Besides the supply of medicines and pharmaceutical advice, there are also plans for the pharmacy to offer seasonal flu jabs and some GP consultations and nursing appointments on-site.

Bicester Advertiser:  Dr Toby Quartley - Heyford Park Pharmacy. Dr Toby Quartley - Heyford Park Pharmacy.


Anger was sparked by a planning application for more warehouses to be built off Howes Lane, backtracking on original plans for residential developments in Bicester.

Original plans were to build 150 homes, green spaces and local shops but Developer Albion Land then proposed to replace those with 11 more warehouse units.


Families criticised the permanent closure of Bicester’s only bowling alley amid £500,000 of cuts planned by Cherwell District Council.

People in Bicester said it was a ‘shame’ the bowling alley would not reopen as hoped, because it was a popular place for children’s birthday parties and family outings.

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