The Command Works, Bicester Motion


The Command Works


Arranged over four hundred acres, Bicester Motion is driven to deliver an unrivalled attraction with a host of family-friendly activities. With a strong focus on automotive and aviation technology and experience, visitors will be able to participate in outdoor adventures, and healthy activities, enjoy good food, rest and relaxation.

The re-use of the former WW2 Bicester Airfield buildings by Bicester Heritage for use by vintage and high-value car restorers faced challenges of space for expansion. The success of the highly skilled and specialists businesses and the community that had grown up around it required more space than many of the historic buildings would allow. New and larger space was required to address and satisfy a need for an extra 6,500 sq metres of floor space.

The challenge

In order to maintain the specialist business community, accommodation needed to be provided in one location close to the conversion of the existing buildings. The site overall fell within a conservation area, with many listed buildings close by, scheduled ancient monuments, mature trees, and on a highly prominent site from the road network. Given the significance of the site to military history, any application would need to be reviewed and endorsed by Historic England. Furthermore, the use of materials and design would need to be commercially viable for the users occupying them, whilst meeting the high expectations of the local authority.

The solution

Early engagement with both the local planning authority and Historic England, proposing a clear evidence base for the business needs and the impact of the proposals on heritage, ecology, trees, and traffic provided the reassurance that the project was being carefully and collaboratively designed. A mixture of brick and modern materials, including metal cladding, allowed a distinction between the old and new, but with a clear reference to the original use of materials maintaining a continual theme for the buildings to be related, but of a separate era.

The result

Consent was granted unanimously, and the buildings have been constructed and many are now occupied. The delivery of the project has enabled a large number of businesses to upscale and provided opportunities for start-up businesses to locate into the smaller historic units. The site assists the overall vision for the site as a motorsport hub and a major attraction for visitors in the area and beyond.

“Edgars’ hands-on approach and leadership of consultants puts them on a level above other planning specialists who often require the client to find the answer to challenging issues.”
Jonty Ashworth, Associate Director – Development, Bicester Motion

If you’re looking for planning consultants to assist you with commercial buildings, education facilities, masterplanning, and more, we can help. Get in touch with us on 01865731700 or email

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