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Plans to expand Didcot shopping centre get local backing

New look for the Orchard Centre Credit: South Oxfordshire Council

People in Didcot have given their backing to plans to expand the town's main shopping area. The proposals would almost double the size of the Orchard Centre - with 24 new shops and 6 new restaurants. Just under 500 people were surveyed - with 88 per cent supporting the scheme.

The project would also include a gym, public open space and more parking space for both cars and bikes. Developers say with the town's population growing, there is an increasing need to provide additional facilities for residents and visitors. When asked about the town as a place to live 92 per cent of respondents said that they are satisfied, up from 79 per cent in 2007.

Cllr John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "It's really encouraging to see that residents support the proposed expansion of the Orchard Centre. The plans will go a long way to meeting the need for additional retail and leisure space and will help put Didcot on the map as a regional destination for shopping and dining."

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Man dies and another fighting for life after crash in Oxfordshire

A pensioner has died and another man is fighting for life after a crash on the A420 in Farringdon. Four vehicles were involved in the collision. The driver of a Ford Transit van, a man aged in his seventies, died at the scene. His next of kin has been informed.

The driver of a flatbed lorry was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Three other people sustained minor injuries. The road was closed for several hours to allow officers to investigate the cause of the collision.

Senior investigating officer PC James Lovell, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “I would like to speak to anyone who saw the collision or who saw the vehicles travelling prior to the collision. If you have any information which could help with our enquiries please contact the police.”

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