Permission granted for 900 homes


Planning permission has been granted for the next stage of the UK’s most sustainable housing development based at North West Bicester.

On Thursday members of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee approved an outline application by A2Dominion South Limited for 900 homes and supporting facilities at land adjacent to Howes Lane and south west of Avonbury Business Park.

In addition to the homes the application will also provide primary and secondary schools as well as retail, commercial and leisure facilities.

Cllr Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “This application represents the latest piece of the jigsaw to build up the complete picture for North West Bicester. In total this site will deliver 6,000 new homes and all of the necessary jobs, amenities and infrastructure to accommodate the new residents. However, rather than submit one for the entire site, the developers have chosen to submit proposals in stages as it is such a large site.

“To date A2Dominion has been working on building the first phase of the site, known as the Exemplar, which includes 393 homes. With the first of those homes now on sale and ready for occupation next year, this application will represent a further stage of the project and will provide some of the necessary facilities and jobs needed to serve the site’s new residents.”

The current application site extends to about 51 hectares and is currently in agricultural use. In addition to the homes, the consent also covers the provision of a local centre comprising eateries, retail and commercial units. It will also accommodate health facilities, such as a GP surgery and leisure space.

Also included within the application was the delivery of 2.22 hectares of land for a new primary school and 10.45 hectares of land for a new secondary school. These will accommodate the students who are expected to live within this phase of the development as well as other children who will reside across the remainder of the overall site.

In granting consent members also gave permission for the provision of open spaces, play provision, allotments and parks.

The development at North West Bicester is unlike any other in the UK due to the high sustainability standards it is being built to. During the construction phase, A2Dominion have committed not to send any waste to landfill - a feat only matched by the construction of the London 2012 Olympics.

In addition, North West Bicester will be the only site to adhere to a true zero-carbon concept. This will use a heat network and renewable energy sources to ensure net carbon dioxide emissions from all buildings’ energy use is zero or below both now and in the future which will reduce the site’s carbon footprint and energy bills.

Each home will be designed to maximise sustainability though initiatives including insulation, the installation of solar panels on all properties to generate electricity and using a combined heat and power plant, to provide heat and hot water.