Plans for £125m MoD logistics centre revealed

The proposed immigration centre between Piddington and Arncott has been given the go-ahead by Cherwell District Council.'090408E-B026
The proposed immigration centre between Piddington and Arncott has been given the go-ahead by Cherwell District Council.'090408E-B026

A PLANNING application for a £125million ‘defence gateway’ in Upper Arncott has been sent to Cherwell District Council.

Some details of the ambitious project were shown to Bicester Town Council in a presentation earlier this summer, where it was warned jobs could, ‘migrate away’ from Bicester if the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) plans did not come to fruition.

But investment for the defence gateway at ‘C’ site in Upper Arncott would hinge on the development of surplus MoD land at Graven Hill, where 1,900 new homes and infrastructure could be created.

The planning application was discussed by Bicester Town Council’s planning committee last week.

Councillor Richard Mould, planning committee chairman, said: “The committee was against the application on a number of points.

“The need for more housing was questioned, and we also weren’t happy with their surveys on the impact of traffic around Bicester.

“And we didn’t think they had done substantial environmental studies on what the effect would be on any wildlife on the site.”

Mr Mould said committee members also questioned the projected number of jobs the DIO plans might create.

At the presentation in July, DIO project manager Philippa Charles said the prospect for defence supply and logistics in Bicester was a, ‘wither on the vine model’ without investment funded by the sale of land at Graven Hill and ‘A’ site in Arncott.

The new defence gateway could bring 2,000 new jobs to the area, she said.

The outline planning application is due to be considered by Cherwell District Council in December or January.