Plans to demolish a bingo hall near Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium for a new laboratory building go before planners on Tuesday (March 19) with a recommendation for approval.

Firoka (Oxford Leisure) plans to demolish the former Buzz Bingo hall at the Ozone Leisure Centre in Grenoble Road, which closed during lockdown in 2020, and replace it with a part-four/part-five storey building of 10,929 sq m, including laboratory/R&D space, offices and a ground floor commercial unit which will be used as a café.

Oxford City Council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve the plans for the site, which was developed along with the stadium in the early 2000s. It is close to The Oxford Science Park and proposed site of the new station on the Cowley branch line.

A Grade II*-listed building nearby, known as The Priory, which was last used as a pub, was considered in the officers’ report to Tuesday’s meeting but it was decided the development would cause less than substantial harm.

Minimal parking is proposed, other than 40 EV charging spaces, but the application states the site would ‘remain connected to the existing car parking areas to the north and east, which afford a total of 1,838 spaces’.

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