Approval granted for assisted living units

Winners Bargain Centre in Bicester.'120107M-D153 ENGPNL00120120701120703
Winners Bargain Centre in Bicester.'120107M-D153 ENGPNL00120120701120703

The site of a former bargain centre is to be turned into 40 assisted living units under plans which were approved by Cherwell District Council yesterday, Thursday.

Members of the council’s planning committee approved the demolition of existing structures and construction of 40 assisted living units with ancillary accommodation.

The development will be built on the site of the former Winners Bargain Centre in Victoria Road, Bicester, which has been vacant for more than 12 months.

Bob Duxbury, development control team leader, said: “In preparing evidence for the submitted Cherwell Local Plan it was recognised there will be a 24 per cent increase in over 65s in the district by 2033 which is higher than the national average.

“Therefore this proposal represents an opportunity to address this particular aspect of housing need.

“There is no objection to the siting of a care home in this specific location within Bicester town centre as residential uses are considered to be acceptable town centre uses.

“Furthermore, the site is adjacent to existing residential areas and will not cause harm to the amenities of neighbours.”

On demolishing the existing buildings on the 0.33 hectare site, a new brick and render building will be built to provide the flats over three floors. Within the building communal facilities such as a cinema, activity room and reception area are planned.

Outside, the development will also include garden areas and the provision of 18 parking spaces plus two disabled parking spaces which will be split between two areas and accessed by Linden Road and Victoria Road.

In granting approval for the plans, councillors attached a number of conditions including a requirement for work to have started on the development within three years of the applicant Montpelier Estates Limited receiving consent.

Bicester Town Council opposed the application, saying the site should have been kept for commercial use and that it was the wrong site for nursing care.