THE first tenant has moved into a new development of eco-friendly affordable housing in Bicester.
Councillor Debbie Pickford of Cherwell District Council handed the keys to the first tenant, Edward Brassington, last week.
The move marks the completion of the first phase of the £3.3 million Bryan House scheme in Chapel Street, which is being developed by the Sanctuary Group.
All homes within the development incorporate solar panels, triple-glazed windows, rainwater harvesting and high levels of insulation.
Mr Brassington, who moved into a one-bedroom flat in Thyme Court, said: “The flat is really nice and living in a place like this makes you think carefully about how much energy you are using.”
The Bryan House scheme was given funding by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Cherwell District Council.
Work began last year, and the development will eventually include 23 energy-efficient homes.
Set for completion in July, the development will have a mix of rented and shared-ownership homes. All are being built to Levels 4 and 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Cllr Pickford, Cherwell District Council’s member for housing, said: “Eco Bicester is one of Cherwell’s top priorities and Bryan House is an affordable housing demonstration project that prepares Bicester for a future sustainable environment and lifestyle.
“I would like to thank Mr Brassington for his role in monitoring the future energy use at his home so lessons can be learned for Eco Bicester, and I look forward to the rest of the tenants moving into their new homes over the coming months.”
Work is now progressing on the construction of four two-bedroom cottages for the second phase, which is due to be completed in March.
Sanctuary spokesman Harj Lota said: “Today marks a significant milestone on this exciting project and we are delighted to welcome Mr Brassington into his new home.
“These properties will not only provide some much needed accommodation for local people, but have been designed to incorporate the latest energy efficient features which will reduce their impact on the environment and help keep energy bills low for our residents.”