Bicester Town Council has started work on the £70m regeneration of the town centre of Bicester in Oxfordshire, UK.
The project includes a Sainsbury’s supermarket, a multi-screen cinema, new retail units and improved parking facilities.
The project is scheduled to be finished by summer 2013; demolition and ground works will prepare the site before starting construction in spring 2012.
Cherwell District Council councillor Norman Bolster said: "There are some big changes on the way for Bicester town centre and it’s very exciting that the council is poised to make a start on them."
Partners Sainsbury’s, Stockdale Land and Cherwell District Council have signed an agreement and planning permission has been accepted for planned major construction work to begin from early January 2012.
A new masterplan for Bicester being drawn up by engineering service provider WYG includes the diversion of the River Bure from the east side of Manorsfield Road onto the west side and landscaping along the new river route, as well as the diversion of existing utilities connections on both sides of Manorsfield Road to accommodate the river diversion.
The masterplan involves improvements to Manorsfield Road, including the creation of a new footpath / cycleway on the west side of the road and the introduction of a roundabout at the junction with Hanover Gardens.
It will also takes into account the Graven Hill site, where the Ministry of Defence wants to build 1,900 new homes.
The masterplan has been funded by Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
The council is planning to build a new civic building at the northern end of the site to include a public library at a later phase.
WYG’s masterplan for Bicester will look at the town and its future needs for the next 20 years.
WYG consultant Gordon Lewis said that the town could have to accommodate 9,300 new homes over the next 20 years, with up to 30,000 new residents.