Assisted living home plan for Bicester’s Winners store site

Winners Bargain Centre in Bicester.'120107M-D153
Winners Bargain Centre in Bicester.'120107M-D153

Plans to build a new 36-place assisted living home on the site of the former Winners store in Bicester were recommended for approval yesterday afternoon, Thursday.

Back in February, Cherwell District Council (CDC) had rejected a scheme to build a 60-bed care home on the Winners Bargain Centre site in Victoria Road.

Problems highlighted by planning officers had included the proposed building’s close proximity to several of its boundaries, and a design that would “dwarf” adjacent homes.

The new, smaller home has been recommended for approval in principle, but planning officers still expressed concerns over the design of the proposed building, which is part of a conservation area.

In a summary of their report, they said: “However, a vital aspect of the development is its effects on the street scene and setting of the conservation area which is heavily influenced by its design which, thus far, has not been an acceptable aspect of the scheme.

“Approval of an outline application will allow time for the design matters to be dealt with as sufficient assurances have been given that an acceptable scheme can be produced.”

Bicester Town Council said it would not raise any objection to the assisted living home plan, but said it was not the right location for a care home and was concerned with the proposed road layout.

The town council also said it would like to see the site used for retail.

Several local residents had raised objections to the original planning application earlier this year, but CDC said it had not received any objections over the revised plan.

The application was due to be decided at the time of going to press yesterday, Thursday.