PLANS to build Oxfordshire's first Greggs bakery drive-thru in Bicester have been slammed by residents.

A host of objections have been submitted to Cherwell District Council by people who say the proposal will unnecessarily destroy green land, while there are empty units in the town centre that could be filled.

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The new Greggs would be opposite Wyndham Hall Care Home off the Launton Road roundabout in North West Bicester.

The 1,800sqft building is proposed to be single storey and the site will have 30 car parking spaces and six bike spaces.

Unlike the conventional high street shop where customers walk in, drivers can simply pull up, order and collect their food.

But residents say they are getting tired of shops and facilities opening on the outskirts of town, when there is space in the town centre that can be used.

Lynne Cumming, who lives in Bicester, said: "There are many empty buildings in Bicester. Please use these instead of cutting down yet more green space. The impact of wildlife and our environment must be taken into account at some point."

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Resident Sarah Thorpe said: "I do not agree with the location of this application. This is a green field site with trees. There are many units in town and on industrial estates that lie empty. These should be utilised first.

"If a drive through is necessary use the land by Tesco."

Other drive-thrus in the town such as Starbucks, Burger King and McDonald's are on the other side of Bicester on Oxford Road.

The plot of land that is proposed to be developed by Greggs consists of common grassland, scrub and woodland habitats in 'poor or moderate condition', according to a preliminary ecological appraisal.

Mixed species native hedges and ornamental shrubs will be planted on the site boundaries and the existing shrubs/hedge to the boundary with Charbridge Lane will be kept but any non-native trees would be removed along the boundaries.

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There are also concerns about the impact it would have on the roads.

Resident Graham Sheldon-Battle said: "Having a drive-thru encourages driving on an already busy area for cars lorries, causing more congestion and pollution. We should be encouraging people not to drive, and engaging in regeneration of the town centre where this company should be looking to locate."

As well as indoor seating, the bakery would have a large outdoor seating area in the front main entrance and people will be able to walk to the site as there will be pedestrian access from the A4421 near the Launton Road roundabout.

Greggs was contacted for comment but failed to respond before this paper went to print.

A delegate decision by the council will be made by September 29.

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