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Next phase of development waiting for planning permission at innovation park Catalyst Bicester

Image above: CGI of phase 4 of Catalyst Bicester, courtesy of OxLEP

Demand to join innovation and advanced manufacturing companies like Tesla, Evolito and Yasa is - according to the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) - is fuelling a next phase of investment and expansion at Catalyst Bicester, Albion Land’s technology park at the gateway to the Oxfordshire town.

A planning application for ‘Phase 4’ has now been submitted to Cherwell District Council, seeking permission for a further 128,000 sq ft of high-quality employment space in three distinctive and highly sustainable buildings. This will add to the 180,000 sq ft already built or under construction in Phases 1 & 2 and the 110,000 sq ft to be built in Phase 3 which is starting in late 2024.

The application is for land which immediately fronts the A41 and Charles Shouler Way, the road into the new Holiday Inn Express, David Lloyd Leisure and the earlier phases of Catalyst. The Phase 4 site already has an outline planning permission for more than 160,000 sq ft and is allocated in the Cherwell Local Plan for knowledge-based employment development.

Albion Land’s new proposals, OxLEP states, will improve upon the existing historic planning permission with distinctive buildings appropriate for this high-profile location and which are designed to attract leading occupiers in the innovation and technology sector.

Simon Parsons, Director of Albion Land said: “We’re investing at Catalyst Bicester to create more high-quality buildings for the knowledge economy, more jobs and more momentum for the park. This Phase 4 is about completing the park’s frontage onto the A41 and we have some distinctive buildings planned to make the most of this prestigious location at the entrance into Bicester from the motorway and A34. We hope to secure planning permission this summer so we can continue the success story and unlock even more of the park’s potential.”

OxLEP continues:

'One of the reasons behind the park’s success is its combination of well-designed buildings suitable for innovative occupiers alongside fantastic facilities, including the David Lloyd Leisure club and the hotel. The park also benefits from a ‘landscape led’ masterplan meaning that green space, attractive landscaping and places to sit or walk are intertwined with the buildings, all leading to an excellent balance between workspace, wellness and amenities on the doorstep.

'This February, Tesla and a highly innovative design and manufacturing company (that cannot yet be named for contractual reasons) were the latest occupiers to commit to Catalyst Bicester. Tesla will occupy 24,000 sq ft for its first presence in Oxfordshire, and the design and manufacturing company will occupy almost 60,000 sq ft to support its exciting expansion plans.

'Leasing agents at CBRE and Colliers International acting for Albion Land are reporting ‘lively interest’ in Building 8 which will be completed in August and is the only available building in Phase 2. The agents are confident that the high quality and flexibility of the proposed Phase 4 will result in further leading innovation occupiers coming to Catalyst and will be a real bonus for the park.

'Demand is, in part, being driven by the growth of Oxfordshire’s science and technology sector and equally by the quality of Catalyst Bicester’s location and its position within Oxfordshire’s tech and innovation ecosystem.'

Simon Parsons added: “We have an outstanding combination of complementary occupiers at Catalyst Bicester already. This further phase will attract more new businesses to the park and to Bicester who may be seeking HQ style technology facilities in a high-profile location. This is a really exciting proposition.”

Advising Albion Land with the Phase 4 planning application are Quod (planning) and Cornish (architects).


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