Major new Bicester business development gets go-ahead

David Lloyd at Catalyst Bicester View from Pool Terrace[2]

Plans for a new sustainable business community including a David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire have been approved by Cherwell District Council.

The development, called Catalyst, will create up to 1,750 new jobs, helping to reduce out-commuting from the town – one of the aspirations of the Cherwell Local Plan.

Catalyst Bicester Illustrative Masterplan[2]The site was allocated for knowledge and technology uses in Cherwell District Council’s adopted plan. The proposals approved are for a range of stand-alone hybrid technology buildings totalling 290,000 sq ft alongside a new health and racquets club, within 25 acres of landscaped grounds. The development will include an ecological wetland reserve.

Construction is planned to start later this year with the first buildings due to be available from mid 2021.

The site is located south of Bicester south, just off the A41 adjacent to the Bicester Avenue retail centre and the new Holiday Inn and will mean the closure of Wendlebury Poultry Farm.

Construction is planned to start later this year with the first buildings due to be available from mid 2021.

The business park will include a range of mostly low rise buildings to include offices, laboratories, R&D, high tech and manufacturing space. Individual buildings are likely to range from 9,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft. However, larger occupier building requirements for 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sq m) plus, could be accommodated.

Simon Parsons, director at property developers Albion Land said: “We will be creating a mixed business community for technology focused businesses, both local to Bicester and those seeking to be in the area within The Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

“This will be our fourth major project in the town. Bicester has a strong workforce, is brilliantly connected and offers companies significant combined rent and business rates savings compared to similar south-east buildings. Catalyst Bicester will be a new community with well-designed buildings so companies and people can thrive in the town.”

Bruce Gardner, new openings director, David Lloyd Leisure added: “Bicester is a booming area and so this new club will be a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of 100 clubs in the UK . We hope to start work early next year, with a view to completing it in 2022, and once open it will offer the local community a range of premium family-friendly health, wellness and racquets facilities and a warm and friendly club environment.”

Cornish Architects is the masterplanner and architect,Oxford-based Quod is the planning consultancy, Henley-in-Arden-based David Tucker Associates is the transport consultancy, Cirencester-based Tyler Grange is the biodiversity and arboriculture consultancy, re-form is the landscape consultancy, Buckinghamshire-based KAM is the project management company and Bailey Johnson Hayes is providing engineering consultancy.

The lettings agents are Banbury-based Brown & Co, Colliers International and VSL.