Science park would provide 1,200 jobs as Kidlington plan likely to be submitted in next two weeks (From Oxford Mail)
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Science park would provide 1,200 jobs as Kidlington plan likely to be submitted in next two weeks
PLANS are to be submitted for a science park in Kidlington that developers say will create 1,200 jobs.
A planning application is to be submitted in the next two weeks for Oxford Technology Park in Langford Lane, opposite Oxford Airport.
Landowner Angus Bates wants to create a development similar to science parks in Harwell and Milton Park.
Work would begin next year and developing the site – a former playing field next to an ambulance station – would take over a decade if permission is given.
The 38,000sqm site would include 380 parking spaces, office, laboratory and warehouse space and a possible hotel to reduce travel from the site.
Mr Bates said: “Oxford has had industrial estates at pretty strong market rates but we are hoping to produce something that is a departure from that.”
The Kidlington plan would target establishing hi-tech and biotech companies looking to expand to up to a dozen units, Mr Bates said. His Hill Street Holdings firm is the majority shareholder in the project, a partnership with London’s Bloombridge Development Partners. The holding company has already been involved in a number of projects in Suffolk and Essex, as well as the 3.5 acre Oxford Office Village in Kidlington.
Richard Cutler, a partner at Bloombridge, said he expected the development to attract pharmaceutical and performance engineering firms.
He said: “Kidlington doesn’t have any employment land and hasn’t for many years.
“This is recognised by the council and we have therefore negotiated with them to release this land from the Green Belt to provide employment.”
Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce small and medium enterprise business manager Gavin Spencer said: “The location opposite Oxford Airport makes the location ideal for potential occupants, as well as the proximity to motorways.”
But Helen Marshall, the director of the Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the application was premature.
She said: “We will look at the plans, but in principle CPRE would be strongly opposed to a development such as this within the Green Belt as it would affect the openness of the land and create knock-on impacts such as traffic and noise.”
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