Outline planning permission has been granted for the next phase of the NW Bicester eco-town project.
Lead developer A2Dominion has received a resolution to grant outline planning permission from Cherwell District Council for up to 2,600 homes. The new town is being masterplanned by architect-planner Farrells and the outline application for 155 hectares of land North of Lords Lane was submitted by the developer last Autumn.
Construction began in April last year on the first 91 homes, which form part of the initial Exemplar phase. This will provide 393 homes said to be true zero carbon.
Cherwell’s planning decision marks the next major step towards the delivery of the NW Bicester Masterplan which in total will encompass up to 6,000 highly energy efficient new homes. The Masterplan, which is currently the subject of consultation to become a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to the emerging Local Plan, also includes provision for 40% green space incorporating a nature reserve, country park, cemetary, secondary school, business and commercial space, onsite energy generation and a range of community and recreational facilities. Business and employment opportunities together with key infrastructure to enable strong connections to existing Bicester through, a strategic road, cycleways, footpaths and public transport links are also an integral part of the scheme.
The development will make a significant contribution to the local housing need as part of the wider Bicester garden town as set out in Cherwell District Council’s emerging Local Plan.
“This is the next major part of the overall development at NW Bicester, the country’s only true zero carbon development and we are pleased this stage is complete,” said Gerry Walker, A2Dominion’s regional development director.
“NW Bicester will create the UK’s most sustainable development, providing a comprehensive mixed scheme where residents can make sustainable lifestyle choices. A2Dominion is already working on Reserved Matters applications for specific phases of the application in anticipation of being able to make a quick start once the Legal Agreement to accompany the Resolution to Grant Outline planning permission is finalised.”
Gary Young, partner at Farrells added: “This decision has come at an important time, when housing is high on both the government’s and the public’s agenda. With planning awarded for the next phase, NW Bicester masterplan will deliver much needed new true zero carbon homes.
“The Farrell Review argued for design quality being a much higher priority within government, and along with NW Bicester housing being cited as an exemplar in the Starter Homes initiative, the planning approval is confirmation that we can raise the design standard of new-build homes as well as the expectations of those who buy and live in them.
“NW Bicester is a truly pioneering development which promotes healthy living as the UK’s first truly zero carbon community, with 40% of the land set aside for green infrastructure and provision for local food growing including allotments and a community farm.”