Outline planning permission has been granted for up to 2,600 new energy efficient homes in Bicester.
Lead developer A2Dominion said last week that this decision marks the next major step towards delivery of the NW Bicester Masterplan. The planned eco-town of North West Bicester will encompass up to 6,000 homes built to zero carbon standards, as well as a new school, play areas, local shops and office space, GP practice, nature reserve, country park and woodland burial ground.
Construction has already started on the initial phase of the project, which will provide 393 zero carbon homes.
Gerry Walker, regional development director at A2Dominion, commented: “This is the next major part of the overall development at NW Bicester, the country’s only true zero carbon development, and we are pleased this stage is complete.”
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that small housing developments in the UK will not have to comply with zero carbon homes regulations.
In a written statement to Parliament, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that small housing sites of 10 units or fewer will be exempt from the off-site carbon reduction requirement, to reduce the burden on smaller housebuilders.
This means that from 2016 all new homes will have to meet the strengthened on-site energy performance standard, but those building on small sites will not be required to support any further off-site carbon abatement measures.
The government will put in place legislation to make sure developers do not abuse the new rules, for example by artificially splitting larger developments into a number of smaller sites, Pickles added.