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Oxfam objects to car dealership moving in
A LARGE Audi dealership is set to become the first car showroom on an Oxford business park.
Plans have been submitted for one of the plots on Oxford Business Park, off Garsington Road near the Eastern Bypass.
The site will include a two-storey Audi dealership which will house workshops and MOT bays.
There will also be 177 parking spaces for customers, staff, workshops and car sales.
Oxford Business Park is currently home to businesses such as publishing company Wiley and law firm Henmans LLP.
Graham Jones, of retail campaign group ROX, admitted it was unusual to have a car dealership in the business park.
But he added: “Although it is a business park you have got to fill all the spaces and a little bit of variety cannot be a bad thing.”
In its application Ridgeway Garages, which is relocating its Oxford Audi dealership from Kidlington, says other Audi dealerships have successfully opened on business parks.
It says: “The motor industry is clearly an important part of Oxford’s heritage and continues to play an important role in employment within the city.
“This is not a speculative proposal, it is a scheme backed by one of the world’s leading motor manufacturers and will deliver a high quality development as well as both safeguarding and creating a significant number of new jobs which will be of considerable benefit to the local economy.”
It is estimated the dealership will employ 72 people.
But international charity Oxfam GB, based across the road from the proposed site, has objected to the scheme saying it is unsustainable.
In a statement to the city council the charity said: “Oxfam opposes this application for reasons of the lack of sustainable travel options in this business park.
“As a car dealership the purpose and method of transportation is essentially by car, especially for customers, for which we already have significant congestion in this area.”
Hollow Way resident Gary Brimson has also objected. He said: “As anyone using Garsington Road knows at certain times of day the traffic congestion is absolutely horrendous and no amount of written evidence can actually show this.
He added: “The car emissions around this area at those times must be one of the highest in Oxford.
“If this development goes ahead I would like to see beforehand air quality surveys undertaken and a prolonged transport assessment of the area.”
A decision on the planning application will be made by a committee of city councillors at a date to be set.