NW Bicester receives One Planet Living Status

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Bicester’s eco-town has joined five other environmentally-friendly developments in the world after receiving an award.

North West Bicester’s first phase has received One Planet Living Status, an endorsement which recognises projects that focus on creating a ‘sustainable future’.

The award was presented to eco-town developers A2Dominion and Bicester Town Council last night, Thursday.

Steve Hornblow, A2Dominion project director, said: “Being recognised as a One Planet Community differentiates the exemplar phase from other schemes claiming green credentials, and positions the project amongst some of the greenest neighbourhoods in the world. “Exemplar will contain 393 highly efficient homes for existing and new residents of Bicester, built to be truly zero carbon and will foster a community that is vibrant, resilient and sustainable. Exemplar will encompass the UK’s largest residential solar array, feature technology designed to cope with climate change of up to 10 degrees Celsius and aims to reduce car usage to 50 per cent. 67.5 per cent of trips in Bicester are made by car at present.”

The eco-town joins One Brighton, Sonoma Mountain Village in San Francisco, Jinshan in China, Mata de Sesimbra in Portugal and the Grow Community in Seattle.

To achieve this status, projects must attain zero carbon and zero waste, sustainable water use and sustainable transport, as well as promote culture and community, equity and the local economy, and the health and happiness of residents.

The first phase of NW Bicester will also encourage local food production, protect habitats and wildlife and prioritise the use of sustainable materials during its construction.

“From the beginning work is underway to involve local communities,” added Mr Hornblow. “A primary goal is to develop community and employment plans that benefit Bicester as a whole. A major part of this will be creating opportunities for the local community to own and govern neighbourhood assets.”

One Planet Living was set up by BioRegional, a social enterprise which establishes sustainable businesses.

For more information on One Planet Living, visit www.oneplanetcommunities.org