MOD announces new distribution centre project

Up to 2000 jobs could be created after plans for a huge £125m MOD distribution centre in Upper Arncott were given the go-ahead.

The scheme will also see 1900 new homes built on disused MOD sites around Graven Hill.

At the heart of the scheme will be a 70,400 sq m warehouse on MOD land at C Site in Ploughley Road, Upper Arncott.

When plans were first unveiled in 2011, representatives of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) warned that MOD jobs could ‘migrate away’ from Bicester if the scheme was not accepted.

The future of defence supply in Bicester was described as being a ‘wither on the vine model’ without proceeds from the new homes to help fund the development of the logistics hub.

Councillor Nigel Randall, of the Adderbury ward, said there could be a potential issue in seeing both elements of the scheme together.

He said: “We need to take great care not in not rushing down a particular path driven by the benefits of one really good bit and overlook the few benefits of the other proposal.

“The elephant in the room is the mammoth in someone’s back garden in Arncott, and it’s the size of the building proposed for Arncott. It is huge.”

The distribution centre, which will be 61 feet high, could have been split into smaller buildings, said Cllr Randall.

“It’s a single building because it’s the easiest thing to build.

“From my perspective, I think there are great benefits in the proposal as a whole. The development of C Site to become a single staging post has merit, but I don’t think a single huge building is the answer,” he added.


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