Cash machine for High Street shop is refused by planners

Oxford Bus Company has a shop in the High Street where customers can find out information about journey times and buy tickets including those for trips on City Sightseeing tourist buses.

Bus bosses wanted to install a cash machine – otherwise known as an ATM – in the shop front to give customers access to 24-hour banking.

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But city council planners have refused planning permission, suggesting the presence of the cash machine could “create the opportunity for crime.”

The planning decision notice says: “The proposed installation of an ATM in this high footfall area, with no adequate security measures, is considered to cause a conflict of public and private space therefore creating opportunity for crime and raising the fear of crime.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Bus Company shop in High Street“The lack of safety would attract criminals towards vulnerable members of the public and therefore the proposal is contrary to Policy DH1 of the Local Plan, Paragraphs 92(b) and 130(f) of the NPPF 2021, and Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.”

Planning officers also said the cash machine would erode the symmetry of the historic shop front, which would be to the detriment of the host building and surrounding conservation area.

The bus company has appealed, pointing out there are other cash points in the area, including the one at Lloyds Bank at 1-5 High Street, at Nationwide in Queen Street and at HSBC in Cornmarket.

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Plans for an illuminated sign inside the shop have also been refused.

A decision report said: “By reason of the illumination, the fascia sign would give rise to harm to the conservation area and setting of the surrounding listed buildings that would detract from the special architectural qualities of the designated heritage assets, causing less than substantial harm to the character and appearance of the designated heritage assets.”

Oxford Bus Company has lodged appeals against both decisions to refuse planning permission but has not commented further.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.

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