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Night spot making way for homes and shops

Two shops and 12 flats are set for development in Banbury town centre following a council decision.

Yesterday (Thursday) Cherwell District Council's planning committee approved permission for the site of a former theatre on Broad Street to be redeveloped as shop units and one and two-bedroom flats.

The building was most recently used as a night club and currently stands empty. The proposals will retain the structure's historic Art Deco frontage, which dates back to around the 1930s.

Cllr Colin Clarke, Cherwell's lead member for planning, said: "We are keen to see empty properties in our town centres brought back into use and there are clear social and economic benefits to making more housing and retail space available in the town centre.

"This building was once used as a cinema and theatre. However, it has not had these uses for some time and this application does not bring about the direct loss of an entertainment facility.

"The proposals put forward by the applicant are sensitive to the fact that this is a locally listed building within a Conservation Area and they will help preserve the historic character of its distinctive frontage."

Two shop spaces permitted under the proposals would have frontage onto Broad Street and the flats will be split over two three storey blocks, one of which will face onto Pepper Alley. 

The building's most recent authorised use was as a restaurant. A previous permission for the building's redevelopment as eight flats and two shops is still current and this was considered an important factor in yesterday's decision.

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