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6,000 new homes ‘will put eco-town on national map’
AN eco-town providing 6,000 new homes is something Bicester will be proud of, developers have said.
Members of the public have had the first chance to see the plans for the 1,000-acre site in North West Bicester.
The draft masterplan, on display in Crown Walk, Bicester, over the weekend, reveals 400 acres set aside for a woodland area, country park, nature reserve and ecological site which could include a farm and environmental education centre.
It includes a business park which could create 2,000 jobs at the corner of Howes Lane and Middleton Stoney Road, and shows a re-aligned Howes Lane that could be moved back 100 metres into what is currently fields.
Developers say they want to create an “urban boulevard” style road, with pedestrian crossings and a 30mph speed limit.
Part of the Bucknell Road would be blocked off after the railway bridge and traffic diverted through the eco housing estate to Bucknell.
The North West Bicester site is separated by a busy railway line, and developers plan to build 3,000 homes on each of the north and south sites.
Gerry Walker, A2 Dominion’s regional development director, said: “In terms of what things make this development stand out – for us it’s really been about what’s in the homes.”
The houses will include triple glazing, extra insulation, low energy appliances and solar panels on all roofs to generate their own electricity.
An energy centre would pipe heat and hot water to homes.
Mr Walker said: “We think these are the homes for tomorrow and it is another thing that puts Bicester on the map.
“It is not being done to these standards anywhere else. It is something Bicester can be proud of.”
Plans also include new cycle and footpath routes, creating a 10k circular route.
On the south site, off Howes Lane, there will be two primary schools and one secondary, and about 16 hectares of sports land would be created there, which is expected to be shared with the secondary school.
A new cemetery for Bicester has also been earmarked for the north side, between the railway line and Bucknell Road, but its size has yet to be confirmed. There will also be local shops, community halls, a health centre, hotel, care home and dentist.
A2 Dominion is also in talks with developers of an ‘extra care village’, apartments for older people who want to live independently.
The development would be built in phases over the next 30 years with a final version of the masterplan due to be submitted to Cherwell District Council in the spring.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
- All the homes on the eco settlement will have solar panels to generate electricity.
- The houses will be designed to stay cool during hot weather and will allow for window shutters – used in hot countries to keep rooms cool – to be added in the future.
- Doors and windows have been triple-glazed, making the property 10 times more air-tight and sound proof than a regular building.
- A rainwater harvest system for water to be collected and reused in, for example toilets.
- Low energy appliances will be fitted in homes along with low energy LED lighting.
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