Expansion would bring more jobs to Bicester Heritage

In a fresh boost to Cherwell’s motor industry, eight new employment buildings have been unanimously approved for the former RAF Bicester Airfield.

Published: Friday, 14th December 2018

The development would extend an existing technical site at the Bicester Heritage motor and aviation centre. It was granted permission by Cherwell District Council’s planning committee on Thursday, 13 December and could support apprenticeships and specialist training.

The new buildings would bring 6,530 square metres of additional floor space to the site, which currently provides work for an estimated 400 people. It was reported that the new buildings would substantially increase the £35m contributed to the economy by the jobs on site.

Cllr Colin Clarke, lead member for planning, said: “The approval of these new buildings is great news for opportunity and growth in our district. Knowledge-driven and led by technology, the businesses based at Bicester Heritage do a great job attracting visitors and providing professional opportunities for local people.

“With this track record in mind, the extension of Bicester Heritage’s technical site onto a disused area of land makes perfect sense. It will mean successful companies already based there can expand without relocating and it supports the wider corridor of motoring and aviation engineering in our district.”

The parcel of land covered by the new permission is bounded by the buildings of the technical site to the north and the airfield to the east.

With a maximum ridge height of 8.1m, none of the proposed buildings will be higher than existing buildings on the technical site.

The new buildings could be used for: industrial purposes; storage and distribution; office, display and sales spaces. Their design would reflect the heritage of the original aviation buildings which have been restored on site.

The proposal agrees with Cherwell’s adopted Local Plan policy for the site, which calls for an economically sustainable future for the site and flying field.