THE £12million facelift of a Witney industrial estate has been granted planning permission despite local objections. 

West Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee heard and passed three linked applications to rejuvenate Windrush Industrial Park, off Burford Road, Witney. 

One disused building will be demolished altogether with a part of another brought down to accommodate 135 car parking spaces. Existing land allocated to parking is set to be built on.

A total of 11 new units are set to be built with an agent for the applicants stating some would allow for the expansion of businesses already there. He said that Smurift Kappa and Mediafleet had “expressed an interest or are in negotiations already to acquire a couple of the units”.

Among the problems highlighted by Witney Town Council were drainage, including where surface water would end up, and that the transport statement “does not make the case for the requirement of 135 parking spaces”. 

How the expansion would link up to public transport and active travel options was a matter raised by Councillor Dan Levy (Lib Dem, Eynsham & Cassington) with the agent promising secure bike storage facilities and the funding of two new bus shelters on the Burford Road. 

Councillor Ben Woodruff (Con, Ducklington) said: “It is very tired, the whole area needs a good spruce up and it is good to see that this will hopefully go ahead.”

Councillor Richard Langridge (Con, Witney North) added: “This is a very welcome investment in our local economy, it is clearly going to make the site far easier and better to use and I have no hesitation in supporting it.”

Councillor Harry St John (Con, North Leigh) questioned whether surface water would be going into the public foul water sewer and asked for a condition to address that. 

“I want to be absolutely confident that surface water from this site is not getting into the foul system,” he said. 

Planning chair Councillor Ted Fenton (Con, Bampton & Clanfield) stated his belief that such provision would be “a priority for everyone” and moved to one of the three votes “with the proviso that the concerns regarding drainage have been addressed or will be addressed”.

Phil Shaw, West Oxfordshire’s area development manager, confirmed it would be a condition or that it would come back to the planning committee.

Cllr St John also raised the question of how many of the units would become warehousing with the agent stating it was “very much a speculative development” that would require flexibility in that regard. 

Conditional planning permission was granted for all three applications without objection.