Hotel gets lift off at aviation site

Bicester’s tourist industry has been boosted by news that a new hotel could bring 180 full time jobs to the northern outskirts of the town.

Published: Friday, 26th October 2018

On Thursday, 25 October, Cherwell District Council’s planning committee gave their backing to the proposals for the five-storey building on the former RAF Bicester site, which is owned and occupied by the applicant, Bicester Heritage.

With 344 beds, the hotel would include a bar, restaurant, conference rooms, gym and swimming pool. It forms part of the wider project which aims to restore and conserve buildings at the site, supporting the existing aviation and motoring centre.

Cllr David Hughes, chairman of the planning committee, said: “With dozens of businesses on site, Bicester Heritage already makes an important contribution to the district economy. This proposal means that people visiting the heritage centre will have an attractive place to stay and can spend for three or four days there if they want to rather than just making a day trip.

“The design for the hotel is sensitive to the heritage features of the wider site, while also introducing attractive contemporary elements. It will come with clear economic and social benefits to Bicester so we’re pleased to support the proposal.”

The design of the building is inspired by the nearby heritage airfield hangars but also features a modern, four floor glass atrium.

The airfield buildings were developed during the interwar period when advances in aviation technology prompted advances in military architecture and urban planning. This architectural and historic interest saw the entire 140 hectare site designated a conservation area in 2002..

The proposal agrees with Cherwell’s adopted Local Plan policy for the site, which designates it as a strategically important tourism and employment site.

The planning application includes proposals to build motor access from Buckingham Road. Funding for highways infrastructure will be secured by a Section 106 agreement with Bicester Heritage.