Cherwell District Council (Posted 02.05.014)

Bicester Eco-town breaks ground.

With work ready to commence on Bicester’s new eco-town, a cheque for £190,909 has been exchanged to help fund the construction of the development’s primary school.

On Monday, 28 April lead-developer A2Dominion will begin to put in access and infrastructure works ahead of commencing work to build the first phase of NW Bicester, known as the Exemplar.

The initial stage will incorporate 393 true zero-carbon homes and amenities including a shop, eco-pub and community centre as well as the school which will be part-funded through a £3.5 million infrastructure fund being provided by A2Dominion.

Karen Curtin, director for Bicester at Cherwell District Council said: “With up to 6,000 new homes due to be built over the next 20-30 years it is important to ensure that the facilities are in place to accommodate the early and future residents of NW Bicester. One of the most important amenities is the provision of a primary school which will initially accommodate approximately 210 children aged between four and 11.

“The receipt of this cheque is significant as it represents the commitment by all stakeholders to ensure the necessary provisions and funds are made available to guarantee infrastructure is provided at the right time for the future residents. We are working with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure a school is provided as soon as possible on the site so children will be able to access local educational facilities for generations to come.”

Of the first 393 homes, 119 will be affordable and these are expected to be completed alongside the remaining Exemplar amenities within four-and-a-half years. The remainder of the homes will then be delivered over a 20-30 year period.

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. As such, every new home will be built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. In addition, as part of the sustainable ethos, A2Dominion has pledged zero waste to landfill during construction; a feat only matched by the construction of the London 2012 Olympics.

John Knevett, A2Dominion’s group chief commercial officer and deputy group chief executive, said: “Today is another major milestone in the construction of NW Bicester’s pioneering development. We are delighted to now be on site and able to hand over our contribution to the first new primary school for the town as part of our long term investment in the future of Bicester.”

Site boards on the NW Bicester Eco-town.