Bicester Eco Town gets green light
P3Eco (Bicester) Ltd, together with its development partner A2Dominion, has today confirmed that Cherwell District Council has resolved to grant detailed planning permission for 393 new homes and a renewable energy centre as part of the first ‘Exemplar’ phase of the NW Bicester Eco development masterplanned by leading architect-planners, Farrells.
Sir Terry Farrell whose practice is acting as masterplanners and architects said: “I am delighted that Cherwell District Council has granted planning permission to this first phase of the Northwest Bicester Eco development. Phase One will kick-start a much larger initiative to transform Bicester into the UK’s first Eco Town, attracting the investment, education and skills that will turn the town into a hub for the UK’s emerging green economy and deliver long-lasting benefits for the whole town and wider area.”
The proposals, submitted by planning consultancy Barton Willmore on behalf of the partnership, also provide for outline consent for new employment, retail, social and community facilities as well as a site for a primary school to form a local centre at the heart of a sustainable new ‘village’. The permission will unlock a £6m investment from the Homes and Communities Agency in the delivery of 119 affordable homes as part of this phase of development. The resolutions to grant permission are subject to completion of a legal agreement.
The landmark scheme will set new benchmarks for both collaborative working and for mass housing needs in the UK. This project has maintained an unwavering commitment to zero carbon development and to meet the exacting targets of a government designated eco town. As one of the biggest housing developments constructed to rigorous Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, each house will have the highest standards of water efficiency, exceptional levels of insulation in walls, windows and roofs and make use of modern green technology such as photovoltaic panels and district heating systems.
The Exemplar phase will be providing 30% affordable housing to meet local needs. It will encourage people to re-think their transport habits, to rely less on private car use and consider car clubs, bike use and a high frequency bus service with ‘real time’ travel information within a design framework providing routes, including into Bicester that will positively encourage cycling and walking. Well over 40% of the Exemplar site is green infrastructure offering provision for play, informal recreation, biodiversity and allotments.