A multi-million pound sports village is being built in south west Bicester to increase sporting opportunities across the town in line with its proposed growth.
The site comprises 17 hectares and is being built by Cherwell District Council as part of the Kingsmere development. The site is intended to provide additional sporting facilities for the town as opposed to replace those which are already in existence and has been split into three phases.
In 2011, planning permission was granted for the first phase of the development comprising high specification grass pitch platforms for football or rugby use (dependent upon demand) along with one cricket pitch. The application also included the provision of a perimeter track that can be used for walking, running and cycling. This work has now been completed although the facilities will not be available for use until autumn 2016.
In November 2015 planning permission was granted for the second phase of the development; the construction of a two-storey sports and functions pavilion along with car parking and access. The new pavilion will house sports club facilities on the ground floor including changing rooms, lockers, a treatment room and showers. There will also be a built-in kiosk area fronting onto the pitches for spectators to purchase refreshments.
Upstairs, there will be a function room with a kitchen and bar and space to accommodate up to 200 guests. Outside, car parking will be provided for about 120 vehicles, with an overspill car park available for large events. Having been granted planning permission in 2015, work must begin within three years of the decision date.
In granting planning permission for phase two, approval was also given for phase three. This will involve the construction of a 3G grass rugby pitch and tennis courts with associated floodlighting. Permission was also granted for a cricket hut which will include a score board, toilet and refreshment facilities. Under the same conditions imposed for Phase Two, work must begin on this phase of the project by November 2018.
The sports village is being built by Cherwell District Council using Section 106 funding contributions from the Kingsmere developers and will be based at Whitelands Way in Bicester. The entire project is expected to be completed by autumn 2016.