Developers are bidding to construct a luxury holiday park at the deserted headquarters of the Caterham Formula 1 racing team.

The proposed development at Leafield Technical Centre, Langley, will comprise 51 holiday cabins, eight barn-style cabins and two loft houses which will be created out of an existing building.

Holiday accommodation developer Cabu, which offers "first rate hideaway experiences", proposes to create a new indoor swimming pool, a spa, outdoor hot tubs, changing rooms, housekeeping rooms, staff rooms, a reception area, a shop, a new bar and restaurant, covered open socialising space, and studio space.

Oxford Mail: Aerial view of the site

The site was originally built as a radio transmission station. It was redeveloped in the late 1980s and then used by British Telecom as a residential training centre for 15 years.

From 1993 the renamed Leafield Technical Centre was expanded into a specialist motorsport facility.

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But the abandoned workshops and empty corridors have not been occupied since around October 2014 when the Caterham team went into administration.

Before that the site also provided the base for the also defunct Arrow and Super Aguri Formula 1 teams.

A planning statement on behalf of the applicant's agent Clerkenwell Estates (Cotswolds) Ltd says the holiday park "will be highly attractive and result in a significant betterment compared to the existing industrial built form associated with the site's former use."

It says the development it will create 116 local jobs once it is operational in addition to construction jobs and at least 159 further jobs indirectly.

"It will generate at least £2million for the local economy directly through visitor, staff and resident expenditure," it says.

Oxford Mail: Leafield proposed layout of site

The application has had a mixed response, drawing 19 objection comments and 11 in support.

Concerns include increased traffic due to the lack of public transport serving the site and the need for an improved access from Fairspear Road and Leafield Road.

One neighbour said: "If this were a greenfield site, no one would believe that a sustainable development of it was possible, given its lack of sustainable connectivity.

"There is no reason to believe the development would be sustainable just because it is on a brownfield site." 

There are also concerns about the impact on local ecology as the site is within both the Cotswolds AONB and the Wychwood Special Landscape Project Area.

Leafield Parish Council said if the plans are approved they want the developer to provide a new footpath and cycleway between the new development and Leafield village and they want a speed restriction on this stretch.

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Suitable routes must be set up for construction and general traffic using the site avoiding Leafield and proposed lighting along the entrance road should be removed "as it is unnecessary and intrusive to the environment".

The council also asked that the applicant "considers the potential amenity value of the leisure facilities for local residents".

Should the development be given the go-ahead by councillors the developer said it expects site preparation works to start in September 2023.

Construction will take place over approximately 24 months and the park will become operational from September 2025.

Planning reference 22/03408/FUL on West Oxfordshire District Council's planning portal.