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Jestico + Whiles gets go-ahead for former RAF airbase refurb

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Plans by Jestico & Whiles to revamp a former RAF and US airbase in Heyford Park, Oxfordshire, have been approved

The proposals, which involve converting two buildings at the now defunct Upper Heyford airbase into a new village centre, were granted permission by Cherwell District Council.

The airfield was first used by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, before being used as a training facility by the Royal Air Force (RAF) between 1918 and 1950.

During the Cold War, it was used as a base by the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command, and later by the United States Air Forces In Europe.

Activity at the airbase was gradually phased out following the Cold War, with the flight line closed in 1993.

Backed by developer Dorchester Living, Jestico + Whiles’ plans for the 2600m² project include a hotel, market hall and an American-style restaurant.

The design will include ‘flexible open spaces’ characterised with natural light and the retention of features from the original buildings, according to the practice.

James Dilley, head of hospitality at Jestico + Whiles, said: ‘Our proposal for the village centre of Heyford Park is about place making, in part through reference to the rich context of this beautiful part of Oxfordshire and the layers of history on this site, not least the refurbishments of the heritage buildings of the former United States Air Force base.

‘It has been a great opportunity for us to draw on our expertise in the design of highly successful restaurants and hotels along with our rare skills in regenerating historic markets as highly successful retail and leisure opportunities.’

Work is expected to start on site in January 2017. 

Project data

Location Heyford Park, Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire
Type of project Mixed-use
Client Dorchester Living
Architect Jestico + Whiles
Landscape architect Eden Consultants
Planning consultant Pegasus Group
Start on site date January 2017
Gross internal floor area 2600m²

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I wonder if their 'Head of Hospitality' used the same spiel in the context of their hotel project in the centre of Edinburgh, commonly referred to as the 'walnut whip' and also the 'golden turd'?

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