Saturday, July 13, 2024

Controversial shopping centre to get makeover after plans approved

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The Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury was purchased by Cherwell District Council in 2017 but figures in 2023 showed the destination is now worth less than a third of what the authority previously paid for it.

Planned elevations.Planned elevations. (Image: Cherwell District Council.)

Now, the council has decided to add three new windows and alter two existing ones to improve the “visual impact” following a vote of approval from councillors in a planning meeting on Thursday (June 6) last week.

READ MORE: General Election: Oxford East candidates grilled in hustings

A planning paper says: “The applicant (Cherwell District Council) seeks planning permission for the enlargement and alterations to two existing windows and the insertion of three additional window openings into the north-eastern elevation of the building to match those of the existing and proposed.”

Castle Quay in Banbury.Castle Quay in Banbury. (Image: Simon Williams)

Banbury Town Council and other consultees did not raise any objections to the application.

The changes to the window was described as being “to do with the visual impact” by senior planning officer Michael Sackey in Thursday’s meeting.

The news comes after some councillors have criticised the former Conservative administration’s handling of the investment with Green Kidlington councillor Ian Middleton, a business journalist and retail analyst, being particularly vocal.

Ian Middleton.Ian Middleton. (Image: Other.)

Mr Middleton previously brought to light details in annual financial statements which revealed the shopping centre was worth £21.6m – less than a third of what the council paid on purchase, which he described as “staggering”.

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About the author

Noor is the Local Democracy Reporter for Oxfordshire who covers political stories from across the county

She began working as a journalist in Oxford in September 2023 having graduated from the University of Oxford.

Noor was trained at the News Associates journalism school and can be found on X through the handle @NoorJQurashi

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