Bulldozers move in to create UK's first eco town

The Oxford Times: Project director Steve Hornblow watches bulldozers start work on the eco town Buy this photo Project director Steve Hornblow watches bulldozers start work on the eco town

BULLDOZERS have finally rolled onto farmland at North West Bicester to start building the UK’s first eco settlement.

Work on the Bicester eco town is now under way almost five years after the Government chose Bicester as one of four sites to pioneer green living.

Bicester is the first site to see start work.

Over the next few months the entrance to the site will be built off Banbury Road, and builders will start to construct the spine road through to what will be the energy centre and primary school, and two bridges.

Traffic lights will go up on Banbury Road on Tuesday and work to build the junction is expected to take up to three months.

The project has had several false starts after plans for 393 homes, an energy centre, school, shops, business centre and eco pub were approved in August 2011.

Project director Steve Hornblow said: “It was a big day. It’s the proper start on site, the diggers are moving onto site.”

The summer will also see the foundations laid for the first homes.

Mr Hornblow said the energy centre, which will provide heat to all homes, will take about a year to build. It is hoped a show home will open early in 2015 and the first residents are expected to move in next summer.

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Mr Hornblow added: “We have talked about it for a long time and we really want to show people what we can deliver. This place is going to be special.”

Developer A2Dominion expects to sell about 100 homes a year and complete the first phase within five years.

A masterplan for the entire site has been submitted to Cherwell District Council and further work on transport is expected to be added to it by the end of May.

More consultation on the masterplan will take place later this year.

Comments (6)

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9:44am Thu 1 May 14

snert says...

And still the legacy of Gordon Brown continues. What a sad day this is.
And still the legacy of Gordon Brown continues. What a sad day this is. snert
  • Score: 1

10:48am Thu 1 May 14

to ny w says...

Snert, what do you mean sad day? A2Dominion reckon it will only take 35 years to build!! What joy!
I think it will be a lot less than 35 years to create a White Elephant, but more like 50 to finish it off!!
Snert, what do you mean sad day? A2Dominion reckon it will only take 35 years to build!! What joy! I think it will be a lot less than 35 years to create a White Elephant, but more like 50 to finish it off!! to ny w
  • Score: -1

11:26am Thu 1 May 14

Richard of Wantage says...

The problem district councils are having at the moment is that so few houses are being built. When planning permission is granted, the builder sits on the land for 10 years hoping he will get a better offer for land with planning permission. When they do start building it's at a such a slow rate that the build is going to take 35 years to finish, if ever.

No wonder house prices are so high, new houses are being drip feed for maximum profits for the builder.
The problem district councils are having at the moment is that so few houses are being built. When planning permission is granted, the builder sits on the land for 10 years hoping he will get a better offer for land with planning permission. When they do start building it's at a such a slow rate that the build is going to take 35 years to finish, if ever. No wonder house prices are so high, new houses are being drip feed for maximum profits for the builder. Richard of Wantage
  • Score: 4

12:28pm Thu 1 May 14

to ny w says...

Richard of Wantage wrote:
The problem district councils are having at the moment is that so few houses are being built. When planning permission is granted, the builder sits on the land for 10 years hoping he will get a better offer for land with planning permission. When they do start building it's at a such a slow rate that the build is going to take 35 years to finish, if ever. No wonder house prices are so high, new houses are being drip feed for maximum profits for the builder.
Not following your logic here. the Masterplan should pave the way for an avalanche of developers to queue up and bash it out quickly. But in this case they are not due to the ECO twist of Code 4 (should be 6) sustainabilty. The words Barges and Poles spring to mind.
[quote][p][bold]Richard of Wantage[/bold] wrote: The problem district councils are having at the moment is that so few houses are being built. When planning permission is granted, the builder sits on the land for 10 years hoping he will get a better offer for land with planning permission. When they do start building it's at a such a slow rate that the build is going to take 35 years to finish, if ever. No wonder house prices are so high, new houses are being drip feed for maximum profits for the builder.[/p][/quote]Not following your logic here. the Masterplan should pave the way for an avalanche of developers to queue up and bash it out quickly. But in this case they are not due to the ECO twist of Code 4 (should be 6) sustainabilty. The words Barges and Poles spring to mind. to ny w
  • Score: -1

7:53pm Thu 1 May 14

CupHalfFull says...

There are always some people who are stuck in the way of always doing it the way it was done before. There are other people who are prepared to change the ways things are done which sometimes takes more effort. I see a lot of the former type wringing their hands in impotent rage in these comments, whilst the second type actually do something.
There are always some people who are stuck in the way of always doing it the way it was done before. There are other people who are prepared to change the ways things are done which sometimes takes more effort. I see a lot of the former type wringing their hands in impotent rage in these comments, whilst the second type actually do something. CupHalfFull
  • Score: 0

12:29am Sat 3 May 14

Severian says...

I don't know why everyone is going on about how ground breaking this "eco town" is. In Newcastle upon Tyne they already have a community power plant producing heat for new environmentally friendly homes.

None of the triumphant fanfare we are hearing from the likes of the local Tories - they have just got on and done it - YEARS before NW Bicester.

Don't believe me? Look at these links:
http://www.govtoday.
co.uk/energy-news/14
676-e-on-helps-creat
e-lower-carbon-commu
nity-in-scotswood

http://www.barrattho
mes.co.uk/new-homes/
tyne---wear/H672701-
The-Rise/

Looks like the NW Bicester "Exemplar" is anything but exemplary. Seems like we didn't need dodgy planning permission for 400 homes, pushed through against normal planning practise after all.
I don't know why everyone is going on about how ground breaking this "eco town" is. In Newcastle upon Tyne they already have a community power plant producing heat for new environmentally friendly homes. None of the triumphant fanfare we are hearing from the likes of the local Tories - they have just got on and done it - YEARS before NW Bicester. Don't believe me? Look at these links: http://www.govtoday. co.uk/energy-news/14 676-e-on-helps-creat e-lower-carbon-commu nity-in-scotswood http://www.barrattho mes.co.uk/new-homes/ tyne---wear/H672701- The-Rise/ Looks like the NW Bicester "Exemplar" is anything but exemplary. Seems like we didn't need dodgy planning permission for 400 homes, pushed through against normal planning practise after all. Severian
  • Score: 2

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