Client: Monte Blackburn Limited
Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire
Sector: Industrial and Commercial
Project status: Approved
PWA planning led a full team of consultants and architects to gain a committee vote of approval for a new business park, located off Junction 11 of the M40, to be called Frontier Park.
What we did
We were instructed by Monte Blackburn Ltd to progress a hybrid application (part full and part outline) for the establishment of a new business park. The development would create up to 50,000m2 of new Class B2 (general industrial) and Class B8 (storage and distribution) floorspace – helping to meet the local authority’s target for the creation of 1,000 new jobs at the site.
The site had been allocated for employment purposes within the Cherwell Local Plan. However, the site was politically sensitive as it would establish new development within the open countryside, beyond the M40, which served as a barrier to the urban area to the east of Banbury.
We progressed a pre-application enquiry and attended meetings with the council, where it was established the authority expected to see high-quality design and development that met a strict criterion that ensured job creation, but minimised environmental impacts. Moreover, the highways authority expressed serious concerns regarding the potential for additional traffic to place undue pressure on a highway network that was already at capacity.
We were able to present a case which adhered to the council’s aspirations. Opportunities were taken to encourage sustainable travel and by working pro-actively with the highways authority, solutions were agreed for infrastructure investment that would mitigate traffic impacts. The applicant was able to demonstrate the development would generate a net increase in biodiversity and habitats.
We worked with architects and landscape architects who were able to review the visual impact and how the layout could be amended to keep this to a minimum. The design of the buildings was also altered to ensure visual interest and architectural features were delivered to the most visible aspects.
We presented a case to the council’s planning committee that the development complied with the strict requirements set out as part of their allocation and on balance the wider public benefits significantly and demonstrably outweighed harms that were emphasised by local objectors. This was accepted and the committee voted to approve the development.