Cherwell District Council (Posted 04.07.014)

Residents invited to comment on eco town.

Feedback is being sought on the future of Bicester’s eco town after a draft masterplan was submitted to Cherwell District Council outlining where 6,000 homes, employment space and amenities will be located.

As part of the process for considering the document, Cherwell has launched an online consultation inviting residents to give their opinions on the proposals for north west Bicester.

The document shows the sites for employment, housing and residents’ amenities which will be delivered over the next 20 years and if approved by the council, will be used to guide future planning applications for the development.

Cllr Michael Gibbard, lead member for planning, said: “The eco town represents a major expansion of Bicester and so it is vital we get it right. We need to ensure there are enough homes for the population, enough jobs for the homes and enough infrastructure to support everything in between.

“This consultation will allow people the chance to see what is being proposed and tell us what they think works well, needs amending or what is missing altogether. By getting these basic foundations right, we can achieve of vision of delivering a sustainable and thriving eco town which will integrate with the town’s existing amenities ensuring a thriving and prosperous future for all of Bicester.”

The eco town covers an area of approximately 1,000 acres of land to the north west of Bicester. Planning has already been obtained for the first phase of the development and work is under way to create 393 homes, a primary school, shops offices and an eco business centre.

The consultation will seek feedback on all aspects of the eco town masterplan which has been prepared by Terry Farrell and Partners, a leading international practice of architects and masterplanners, on behalf of the lead developer, A2Dominion.

In addition to outlining the proposed layout for housing and employment on the site, the 15-question survey will also seek feedback on suggested employment and training opportunities, transport and community facilities.

The online consultation will run until Thursday, 24 July 2014. In addition, a public exhibition will take place at the Bicester Pop-In Centre on Thursday, 10 July and Friday, 11 July between 12pm and 7pm on both days.

Once the consultation process is complete, the plan will take into consideration any feedback and be sent to councillors for approval at a meeting of the executive later this year. If accepted, it will be used to guide decisions on future planning applications relating to the development.