North West Bicester, UK
An endorsed One Planet Community
Construction of the UK’s first eco town at North West Bicester in Oxfordshire will begin in early 2013. The first phase, led by developers A2Dominion working with BioRegional, will contain 393 highly efficient homes, built to be truly zero-carbon.
The design fosters a community that is vibrant, resilient and sustainable and incorporates a school, district heating plant, eco pub and business centre. It will include the UK’s largest residential solar array, technology designed to cope with climate change and aims to reduce car usage by 50%.
Over the next 20 years, North West Bicester will become a development of 5,000 homes built to very high environmental standards, creating 5,000 jobs and with 40% of land given over to green open space.
In November 2012 Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, welcomed the “vision and ambition” behind the plans. He said they “show the kind of big thinking we need to tackle the housing crisis and create a new, 21st Century generation of garden cities and suburbs.
“We need a huge increase in building new family homes, to high environmental standards, with plenty of green space around them. But it’s critical that all the infrastructure that major new developments need is in place early on, creating real communities with decent facilities and easy access to local jobs.
“At Bicester a partnership of the local council, a developer and a social enterprise have been working with the local community on all of those things, setting themselves really challenging goals to cut carbon and waste while boosting the local economy and raising people’s quality of life. We need more of this kind of ambition.”