Cherwell planners have given the go-ahead for 2,600 ultra-green homes to be developed in the 155ha next phase of North West Bicester’s eco community. The Oxfordshire homes are to be designed to be ‘true zero carbon’, with the energy standard being achieved through fabric energy efficiency, a district heating network powered by local energy centres and roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels.
Construction has already started on the 393-home first phase of the scheme, which is being led by developer A2Dominion. The first phase, called the Exemplar, sets the community standard with zero carbon homes designed to Code for Sustainable Homes level 5. Other members of the development team include contractor Willmott Dixon, sustainability integrator Bioregional, masterplanner Farrell & Partners, planning consultant Barton Willmore and adviser Hyder Consulting.
As well as homes, the new phase of development will feature commercial floorspace, social and community facilities, an energy centre, a new primary school and landscaping. Two hundred and fifty of the homes are set to be extra care properties for the elderly.
Cllr Michael Gibbard, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for planning, said: “This development will benefit from having the highest environmental standards and will provide significant benefits not only in new housing but also in employment opportunities”.