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Plans to transform Bicester into eco-town get initial approval

9 September 2011 No Comment

The first phase of an eco-development in Bicester has been given the go-ahead.


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Cherwell District Council has granted architects, Terry Farrell and Partners, planning permission for the first part of their ‘Exemplar’ eco-town project in Bicester, Oxfordshire, which aims to be zero carbon emitting.

Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes

The development, Construction Enquirer writes, will be “one of the biggest housing developments constructed to Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes” in the UK to date.

Plans have been approved for the construction of almost 400 homes, a renewable energy centre, schools, retail units and communal facilities.


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The eco-houses will be constructed using locally sourced, sustainable materials. Rainwater will be harvested and used in low flow taps and toilets. Solar panels will be installed on the rooftops.

Enhanced internal wall cladding will provide extra insulation and ‘high performance’ windows will minimise energy loss.

Eco-houses within an eco-town

The homes will be equipped with energy-efficient appliances and a ‘transport choice system’ – a bike shed is located nearest the house with the car parked slightly further away, to better encourage bike use.


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Plans far exceed the standards set by the government for designated eco-towns.

Terry Farrell said told Building Design Online:

“Phase One will kick-start a much larger initiative to transform Bicester into the UK’s first Eco Town, attracting the investment, education and skills that will turn the town into a hub for the UK’s emerging green economy and deliver long-lasting benefits for the whole town and wider area.”

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