PLANS for a budget superstore at a former Toys R Us are set to be approved by councillors, despite prior warnings about flooding and parking issues at the site.

Plans to convert the former Toys R Us on Botley Road into a Home Bargains have been in the pipeline since June.

In August, concerns were raised about how changes to the shop would affect how it would cope with flooding, along with worries about a reduction in the number of parking spaces.

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Councillors on Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee will decided tonight on whether the plans will go ahead.

The committee is recommended to give the go ahead to the shop conversion.


An overhead design plan of the Toys R Us site on Botley Road. Picture: Oxford City Council.

A report to the committee said objections from Oxfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency had been addressed since the plans were first submitted in July.

Oxfordshire County Council’s transport team previously said in a consultation response that there was ‘no justification’ for removing three trees and three parking bays from the site.

The environment agency and the county council’s lead on flooding also objected.

The flooding team at OCC said at the time there had been ‘insufficient surface water management information provided to enable a full technical audit of the proposal.’

Both the council and the Environment Agency have since withdrawn their applications because of amendments to the plans.

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These have included changes staff bike stores so they are no longer flood proof, and will allow surface water to fill them instead of spreading elsewhere.

A separate planning application seeks to change two conditions which were imposed upon the shop when it was first opened as a Toys R Us in 1988.

The two conditions which Home Bargains would like to see removed would mean the new store would be able to open for longer hours and would be able to serve food.

A report to the west area planning committee said the conditions were no longer appropriate as they were first imposed 30 years ago.

The last day of trading at Oxford’s Toys R Us story was on April 21 last year.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 after performing poorly against competitors in the USA.

It’s UK stores began closing in 2018 after Toys R Us entered administration.

Argos on Botley Road has also closed recently, with the its last day of trading on September 21.


Home Bargains in Banbury. Picture: Google Maps.

This will be the first Home Bargains store in Oxford, with the nearest currently at Kings Park, Wantage.

Home Bargains has struck a deal to take on many vacant Toys R Us units across the country, with plans revealed to open in locations including Liverpool, Coventry and Peterborough.

The Oxford store could create 90 jobs and result in a £5m refit of the unit.