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Bicester eco-town granted planning permission

Words: Laura Edgar

Outline plans for up to 2,600 homes in a North West Bicester eco-town have been granted permission.

Barton Willmore received a resolution to grant outline planning permission for the 155-acre development on behalf of lead developer A2Dominion, who submitted an application in August 2014 to Cherwell District Council.

A2Dominion have already began construction on the first 91 homes, which form part of the initial exemplar phase of 393 zero-carbon homes, said Barton Willmore.

The application includes 30 per cent affordable housing, extra care apartments for the elderly, a new primary school, convenience store, restaurant, a GP surgery and a place of worship.

This planning permission is the next step in delivering the NW Bicester Masterplan, which totals 6,000 “highly energy-efficient new homes”.

The masterplan is currently undergoing consultation to become a Supplementary Planning Document to the district council’s emerging Local Plan. It includes provision for 40 per cent green space, secondary school, business and commercial space, onsite energy generation and community and recreational facilities, explained Barton Willmore.

The consultancy added that employment opportunities and infrastructure were key to ensuring strong connections to existing Bicester.

Iain Painting, senior planning partner at Barton Willmore, said: “This result represents the culmination of five years’ work for the team, and follows the success already being delivered on the exemplar phase - 393 new homes.

“With the emerging local plan identifying NW Bicester as a location for up to 6,000 new homes, these ambitious proposals are consistent with the original masterplan and the overarching aim to deliver a valuable and sustainable community that supports and enhances the town of Bicester and the wider region.”

Gerry Walker, regional development director at A2Dominion, added: “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.”

Image courtesy of Barton Willmore