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Doug Shepherd, one of 50 dealers at the centre, said: ”We just cannot afford the increased rent which would at least double. Only the chains and larger retailers can pay the rents demanded by landlords. The business is doing well despite the roadworks in the town.”

South Oxfordshire District Council confirmed to ATG at the end of August that a planning application to refurbish the building was received from Mr Piasecki in May of this year, though it was withdrawn in early July.