Masterplan reaches major milestone as planning decision is approved

Following a council meeting held last night, NW Bicester lead developer A2Dominion has received a Resolution to Grant outline planning permission for up to 2,600 homes, to deliver the next phase of the most sustainable development in the UK. NW Bicester is being masterplanned by architect-planners Farrells, and the outline application for 155 hectares of land North of Lords Lane was submitted by A2Dominion last Autumn. Construction began in April of last year on the first 91 homes which form part of the initial Exemplar phase which will provide 393 true zero carbon homes.

The decision marks the next major step towards the delivery of the NW Bicester Masterplan which in total will encompass up to 6,000 highly energy efficient new homes. The Masterplan, which is currently the subject of consultation to become a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to the emerging Local Plan, also includes provision for 40% green space incorporating a nature reserve, country park, burial ground, secondary school, business and commercial space, onsite energy generation and a range of community and recreational facilities. Business and employment opportunities together with key infrastructure to enable strong connections to existing Bicester through, a strategic road, cycleways, footpaths and public transport links are also an integral part of the scheme.

The development will make a significant contribution to the local housing need as part of the wider Bicester garden town as set out in Cherwell District Council’s emerging Local Plan.

Commenting on the decision, Gerry Walker, Regional Development Director at A2Dominion said:

“This is the next major part of the overall development at NW Bicester, the country’s only true zero carbon development and we are pleased this stage is complete. 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.”

Gary Young, Partner at Farrells said:

“This decision has come at an important time, when housing is high on both the government’s and the public’s agenda. With planning awarded for the next phase, NW Bicester masterplan will deliver much needed new true zero carbon homes.

“The Farrell Review argued for design quality being a much higher priority within government, and along with NW Bicester housing being cited as an exemplar in the Starter Homes initiative, the planning approval is confirmation that we can raise the design standard of new-build homes as well as the expectations of those who buy and live in them. NW Bicester is a truly pioneering development which promotes healthy living as the UK’s first truly zero carbon community, with 40% of the land set aside for green infrastructure and provision for local food growing including allotments and a community farm.”

Iain Painting, Planning Partner at Barton Willmore added:

“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. We’re delighted with this result and are looking forward to taking the project forward with the team.”

The approved application includes:

  • 30% affordable homes including extra care apartments for the elderly with supporting facilities, and a network of allotments
  • A new primary school with playing fields and an extension to the Exemplar primary school, a, nursery, sports pitch and pavilion
  • A local centre with convenience store, cafe, restaurant and shops, a public square and community hall
  • An energy centre, GP practice, business and office provision and a place of worship • A country park, play areas, community farm and woodland burial ground

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