Row over new eco town’s windows made in Poland

The Oxford Times: Neil Brooks from Rationel Windows Buy this photo Neil Brooks from Rationel Windows

THE first contractors in the multi-million Bicester eco town development have been appointed, sparking a row with green campaigners.

A deal to supply windows to almost 400 homes has run into controversy after it was revealed they are manufactured in Poland.

While supplier Rationel Windows has a base at Bicester’s Avonbury Business Park, its manufacturing is carried out in Gdansk.

Susanne Austin, co-founder of the Bicester-based Oxfordshire Green Construction network, said: “It is true to say that Rationel have a UK office based in Bicester – however their head office is based in Denmark and production is in Gdansk, Poland.

“Is this truly local or is it more truthful to seek a more local alternative or a similar product with fewer carbon miles?

“This project is groundbreaking and many are watching. The talk must match the walk, otherwise this project will create great disappointment and do an incredible amount of damage to people’s trust and belief in what is being presented to them.”

Bosses at NW Bicester, the organisation set up to oversee the project, insist that while the windows are made abroad, the order for an undisclosed sum secures 27 jobs in Bicester controlling Rationel’s sales, maintenance and fitting.

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Steve Hornblow, NW Bicester project director, said: “We are wholly committed to using local companies and want as many as possible to get involved in this unique scheme.

“Companies are prioritised on their ability to demonstrate a local connection and their ability to supply an exceptional product or service at a competitive price.”

Neil Brooks, sales manager from Rationel, said: “Being a Bicester resident myself, I have been aware of the project from the start and we now look forward to seeing the development begin to take shape using our products.”

Rationel and Witney-based Stewart Milne Timber Systems are the first suppliers to be appointed by contractor Willmott Dixon and developer A2Dominion for the initial phase of the eco town, off Banbury Road, North West Bicester, and work is now under way.

Stewart Milne will provide the timber frame shell for the 393 energy efficient homes. Four phases of construction will be rolled out over five years with a database of local suppliers and contractors being developed.

Charlie Scherer, chief operating officer for Willmott Dixon Housing. said: “Supporting the local pound is a key part of our ethos and with A2Dominion’s investment to create the UK’s first eco town providing a huge boost to the local economy, we want to ensure local companies benefit by working on the project.”

An event giving businesses the chance to speak to the project team and find out more about opportunities to get involved will take place on Wednesday at the John Paul II Centre at Webb Court, Causeway, Bicester, from 8am-3pm.

Comments (16)

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3:28pm Thu 15 May 14

to ny w says...

You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses!
Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence.

Elephantus blanco!!!
You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses! Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence. Elephantus blanco!!! to ny w
  • Score: -1

4:23pm Thu 15 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

to ny w wrote:
You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses!
Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence.

Elephantus blanco!!!
Two years is a long time to wait to issue a contract. Not surprised things have changed.

I blame "Activists" for wasting so much time with their protests.
[quote][p][bold]to ny w[/bold] wrote: You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses! Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence. Elephantus blanco!!![/p][/quote]Two years is a long time to wait to issue a contract. Not surprised things have changed. I blame "Activists" for wasting so much time with their protests. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 9

5:27pm Thu 15 May 14

snert says...

Now I recall saying that none of these contracts would go to local companies in contrast to what ever rubbish was being spouted by the highly paid spin doctors. Hmm, funny how things pan out... with my being right an all.

I know this is one of many but the first one and it goes outside of the UK. What a surprise!
Now I recall saying that none of these contracts would go to local companies in contrast to what ever rubbish was being spouted by the highly paid spin doctors. Hmm, funny how things pan out... with my being right an all. I know this is one of many but the first one and it goes outside of the UK. What a surprise! snert
  • Score: -2

5:28pm Thu 15 May 14

Amazinganman says...

Local Jobs for local people...no back handers, nod, nod, wink wink, no what I mean...27 jobs secured...the big time...I hope they are not coming over from Poland and settling in as the UKip army will be gaining even more strength in the home counties ...What next timber from Australia? Roof tiles from Canada...Someone is cashing in.. Green Village, once all those ships come in the carbon footprint will smash through to the Earth's core. You would have to have been blind not to see it coming.
Local Jobs for local people...no back handers, nod, nod, wink wink, no what I mean...27 jobs secured...the big time...I hope they are not coming over from Poland and settling in as the UKip army will be gaining even more strength in the home counties ...What next timber from Australia? Roof tiles from Canada...Someone is cashing in.. Green Village, once all those ships come in the carbon footprint will smash through to the Earth's core. You would have to have been blind not to see it coming. Amazinganman
  • Score: -4

8:29pm Thu 15 May 14

CupHalfFull says...

Fake row to sell newspapers
Rude and ignorant comments
False arguments being raised
Move along there is nothing of any intellectual merit here.
Fake row to sell newspapers Rude and ignorant comments False arguments being raised Move along there is nothing of any intellectual merit here. CupHalfFull
  • Score: 4

9:04pm Thu 15 May 14

Stephen WJ says...

So, not only does the eco town involve concreting over thousands of acres of prime farmland, ripping out ancient hedges and drawing in approximately 10,000 cars, the windows will be made in Eastern Europe and transported to Bicester via road, sea and road (presumably) - and this is only what we know now.

There ain't anything eco about this - at least the premium house prices will make the buyers feel they're getting something special though.

Like HS2, when will this government see sense that it's inherited another pup from Liebour?
So, not only does the eco town involve concreting over thousands of acres of prime farmland, ripping out ancient hedges and drawing in approximately 10,000 cars, the windows will be made in Eastern Europe and transported to Bicester via road, sea and road (presumably) - and this is only what we know now. There ain't anything eco about this - at least the premium house prices will make the buyers feel they're getting something special though. Like HS2, when will this government see sense that it's inherited another pup from Liebour? Stephen WJ
  • Score: -2

10:54pm Thu 15 May 14

to ny w says...

BaECON warned you years ago.
Bicester
against
Eco
Con ,
And we have been.
BaECON warned you years ago. Bicester against Eco Con , And we have been. to ny w
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Thu 15 May 14

Severian says...

What a surprise - our local politicians lied through their teeth to ensure that the eco-town would get approval. They said:
1. It will bring 5,000 jobs to Bicester - blatant lie
2. They will build a local fabrication plant in Bicester to build the houses - blatant lie
3. The eco-town will give us a new town cemetery - blatant lie
4. This will be Britain's first eco development - blatant lie (do a Google search for The Rise, Scotswood. Newcastle beat them to it ages ago
5. The houses will be built to sustainable Code 5 - big fib - they are now going to build to Code 4
6. Cherwell District Council would share in the increased land values - blatant lie. The development only got off the ground because CDC is pumping in millions of council taxpayers money.

From Day 1 the whole "Eco" town has been a con - it was never going to be an environmental showcase - it was always just another estate designed to make a handful of landowners and developers extremely rich, with absolutely no thought or planning on how it would impact the people of Bicester.
What a surprise - our local politicians lied through their teeth to ensure that the eco-town would get approval. They said: 1. It will bring 5,000 jobs to Bicester - blatant lie 2. They will build a local fabrication plant in Bicester to build the houses - blatant lie 3. The eco-town will give us a new town cemetery - blatant lie 4. This will be Britain's first eco development - blatant lie (do a Google search for The Rise, Scotswood. Newcastle beat them to it ages ago 5. The houses will be built to sustainable Code 5 - big fib - they are now going to build to Code 4 6. Cherwell District Council would share in the increased land values - blatant lie. The development only got off the ground because CDC is pumping in millions of council taxpayers money. From Day 1 the whole "Eco" town has been a con - it was never going to be an environmental showcase - it was always just another estate designed to make a handful of landowners and developers extremely rich, with absolutely no thought or planning on how it would impact the people of Bicester. Severian
  • Score: 5

11:46pm Thu 15 May 14

Severian says...

The two key elements of the so called "Eco" Town are that it will have a revolutionary local power plant distributing heat to the homes, and that the houses will be built to high environmental standards.

When planning permission was granted the power plant was supposed to be environmentally friendly, burning waste materials like straw. As soon as permission was granted this plan was immediately changed to make it a gas fired power station - so much for eliminating the use of irreplaceable fossil fuels.

The second promise was that the houses would be at least Code for Sustainable Housing level 5. As soon as permission was granted that promise became "At least Code 4", which is developer speak for "No more than Code 4".

But a new development in the West End of Newcastle has both a local gas fired power plant delivering heating water to its homes, and Code 4 houses, and is already selling them on the open market. They are doing this without any of the grand claims being made for Bicester NW - it is just another housing development.

See more information here: -> http://www.barrattho
mes.co.uk/new-homes/
tyne---wear/H672701-
The-Rise/

So much for the "Exemplar" being exemplary.
The two key elements of the so called "Eco" Town are that it will have a revolutionary local power plant distributing heat to the homes, and that the houses will be built to high environmental standards. When planning permission was granted the power plant was supposed to be environmentally friendly, burning waste materials like straw. As soon as permission was granted this plan was immediately changed to make it a gas fired power station - so much for eliminating the use of irreplaceable fossil fuels. The second promise was that the houses would be at least Code for Sustainable Housing level 5. As soon as permission was granted that promise became "At least Code 4", which is developer speak for "No more than Code 4". But a new development in the West End of Newcastle has both a local gas fired power plant delivering heating water to its homes, and Code 4 houses, and is already selling them on the open market. They are doing this without any of the grand claims being made for Bicester NW - it is just another housing development. See more information here: -> http://www.barrattho mes.co.uk/new-homes/ tyne---wear/H672701- The-Rise/ So much for the "Exemplar" being exemplary. Severian
  • Score: 2

10:43am Fri 16 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Exactly as I said earlier Severian...

So much time is wasted by "Activists" in this county, that changes are inevitable - just like this development always was.

The quicker that something goes from consultation to build the more likely that we'll get what was first *offered*.
Exactly as I said earlier Severian... So much time is wasted by "Activists" in this county, that changes are inevitable - just like this development always was. The quicker that something goes from consultation to build the more likely that we'll get what was first *offered*. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

11:43am Fri 16 May 14

to ny w says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
to ny w wrote: You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses! Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence. Elephantus blanco!!!
Two years is a long time to wait to issue a contract. Not surprised things have changed. I blame "Activists" for wasting so much time with their protests.
Changed? i dont think so.How could they proclaim a factory site for timber frame Production in Bicester,if the contractor, Willmott Dixon wasnt appointed until 2014? W D will procure thier products to suit their needs, not to suit the local polictical diatribe.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]to ny w[/bold] wrote: You wont believe how we have been mugged on this issue. On local election day 2 years ago the Bicester Advertiser ran a front page headline with a quote from D Dogwash proudly proclaiming that a site for the factory fro timber frame construction had been identified in bicester and it came with a photo. that was 2 years before a contractot had been appointed. What absolute bovine excrement!! This sustainable pontification, already thin, is seen to be fodder for the masses! Cherwell D C sit behind all of this nonsence. Elephantus blanco!!![/p][/quote]Two years is a long time to wait to issue a contract. Not surprised things have changed. I blame "Activists" for wasting so much time with their protests.[/p][/quote]Changed? i dont think so.How could they proclaim a factory site for timber frame Production in Bicester,if the contractor, Willmott Dixon wasnt appointed until 2014? W D will procure thier products to suit their needs, not to suit the local polictical diatribe. to ny w
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 16 May 14

Severian says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Exactly as I said earlier Severian...

So much time is wasted by "Activists" in this county, that changes are inevitable - just like this development always was.

The quicker that something goes from consultation to build the more likely that we'll get what was first *offered*.
If the developers had proposed this as a "Normal" development it would never have been able to get permission.
This was always about twisting the planning rules to help a few landowners and big developers get very rich, with no proper planning done for the impact it will have on Bicester.
If only our politicians would admit that they lied through their teeth to get this approved we could all move on. They could then stop the rest of the "Eco" development, which is ill thought out and in the wrong place.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Exactly as I said earlier Severian... So much time is wasted by "Activists" in this county, that changes are inevitable - just like this development always was. The quicker that something goes from consultation to build the more likely that we'll get what was first *offered*.[/p][/quote]If the developers had proposed this as a "Normal" development it would never have been able to get permission. This was always about twisting the planning rules to help a few landowners and big developers get very rich, with no proper planning done for the impact it will have on Bicester. If only our politicians would admit that they lied through their teeth to get this approved we could all move on. They could then stop the rest of the "Eco" development, which is ill thought out and in the wrong place. Severian
  • Score: 3

8:37pm Sun 18 May 14

CupHalfFull says...

Severian - you are living on a different planet to the rest of us. This Government is hell bent on developments. Do you really think that if the Eco Town idea was abandoned that those field would not be concreted over? Just look at Cala Homes plans for Caversfield. There are plenty of other examples all over Cherwell, Oxfordshire and the UK.. Your idea of an agrarian idyll is untenable. People need houses to live in, and this government and any Labour Government that might follow it will ensure that they are built.
Severian - you are living on a different planet to the rest of us. This Government is hell bent on developments. Do you really think that if the Eco Town idea was abandoned that those field would not be concreted over? Just look at Cala Homes plans for Caversfield. There are plenty of other examples all over Cherwell, Oxfordshire and the UK.. Your idea of an agrarian idyll is untenable. People need houses to live in, and this government and any Labour Government that might follow it will ensure that they are built. CupHalfFull
  • Score: 1

10:48pm Sun 18 May 14

to ny w says...

CupHalfFull wrote:
Severian - you are living on a different planet to the rest of us. This Government is hell bent on developments. Do you really think that if the Eco Town idea was abandoned that those field would not be concreted over? Just look at Cala Homes plans for Caversfield. There are plenty of other examples all over Cherwell, Oxfordshire and the UK.. Your idea of an agrarian idyll is untenable. People need houses to live in, and this government and any Labour Government that might follow it will ensure that they are built.
Ah but will they sell?
[quote][p][bold]CupHalfFull[/bold] wrote: Severian - you are living on a different planet to the rest of us. This Government is hell bent on developments. Do you really think that if the Eco Town idea was abandoned that those field would not be concreted over? Just look at Cala Homes plans for Caversfield. There are plenty of other examples all over Cherwell, Oxfordshire and the UK.. Your idea of an agrarian idyll is untenable. People need houses to live in, and this government and any Labour Government that might follow it will ensure that they are built.[/p][/quote]Ah but will they sell? to ny w
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Wed 21 May 14

deedee444 says...

People want cheaper housing which you wont get unless you go for the cheapest material providers....this carbon footprint b####x is just some hippy **** to keep some ponces in work.
People want cheaper housing which you wont get unless you go for the cheapest material providers....this carbon footprint b####x is just some hippy **** to keep some ponces in work. deedee444
  • Score: 2

6:47pm Wed 21 May 14

to ny w says...

deedee444 wrote:
People want cheaper housing which you wont get unless you go for the cheapest material providers....this carbon footprint b####x is just some hippy **** to keep some ponces in work.
Cheap housing, you have to be joking. Do you understand what code 6 sustainability means at what it costs? This is how this hair brained scheme was steam rollered through the planning process without a local plan being in place. Con, con, con.
Cherwell D C are the prime guilty party here.
[quote][p][bold]deedee444[/bold] wrote: People want cheaper housing which you wont get unless you go for the cheapest material providers....this carbon footprint b####x is just some hippy **** to keep some ponces in work.[/p][/quote]Cheap housing, you have to be joking. Do you understand what code 6 sustainability means at what it costs? This is how this hair brained scheme was steam rollered through the planning process without a local plan being in place. Con, con, con. Cherwell D C are the prime guilty party here. to ny w
  • Score: 1

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