Plans for an out-of-town retail park will “threaten the retail heart of Banbury” the manager of Castle Quay fears.

Paul Jackson warned that retailers would leave the town for the planned Banbury Gateway, at the current site of motorsport firm Prodrive by M40 junction 11.

Marks & Spencer and Next have already been confirmed for the development but have pledged to keep their town centre stores. Seven further shops and three or four food and drink outlets will also be created, with Prodrive moving to the former Hella site nearby.

Cherwell District Council has yet to make a final decision on the plan, which would include a free shuttle bus to the town centre.

Mr Jackson said: “The practical effect of allowing this proposal, as a direct competitor, is that key retailers will leave Castle Quay, as well as the town centre.”

“These plans, as they stand, will threaten the retail heart of Banbury.”

He did not know names of any retailers set to leave the town centre.

A joint statement from Prodrive and developer LXB said the public response to an exhibition of the plans had been “overwhelmingly unanimous” in support.