Summary of application
Bellway Homes and Christ Church have submitted a planning application to Cherwell District Council for Water Eaton, a new neighbourhood at the PR6a/ Land East of Oxford Road site, which is allocated for development in the Cherwell Local Plan Partial Review.
The application for Water Eaton includes:
- Up to 800 new homes, designed to complement the surrounding areas of Oxford, Kidlington and Cherwell.
- A primary school catering for Water Eaton and the nearby PR6b development.
- Local centre for retail, business and professional uses, including a café or restaurant and community building.
- Open public green spaces with play areas, allotments and landscaping.
- A cycle route through the site linking the Park & Ride and the Parkway station to Oxford and Cutteslowe Park.
- A bus lane at Oxford Road, and segregated pedestrian and cycle routes suitable for commuting to Oxford city centre.
- Flood water storage ponds located in green spaces.
The outline application can be viewed and commented on through Cherwell District Council’s website here. The deadline for comments is 9 June 2023.
Access, connectivity and parking
Water Eaton has been designed to be a walkable neighbourhood which puts pedestrians and cyclists first.
The entire site is within an 800m walk of the local centre and primary school, with a network of footpaths and cycle paths proposed, along with primary, secondary, residential and rural edge streets.
The street next to the school is proposed as a school street which will be temporarily closed off for the majority of traffic during the mornings and afternoons during school days.
Two vehicular accesses will be provided into the site:
- The southern vehicular access will be provided by a Cycle Optimised Protected Signals (CYCLOPS) junction.
- The northern vehicular access to the site will take the form of a left in left out priority junction with a full set back for cycle crossing.
The development will meet Oxfordshire County Council’s parking standards, with the details of parking provision set out at a later stage during the Reserved Matters applications.
It is envisaged that a controlled parking zone will be required to ensure there is no overspill parking from Oxford Parkway station and Park and Ride.
Green infrastructure and sustainability
Green infrastructure is a key component of Water Eaton. Our approaches are set out below.
Green infrastructure objectives
- A more biodiverse landscape
- A resilient landscape
- A landscape appropriate to historic and local character contexts
- A multi-functional landscape
- A landscape that encourages healthy lifestyles and wellbeing; and
- A landscape that stimulates the economy.
Green Infrastructure design principles
- Trees, hedgerows and woodland planted in green spaces at Water Eaton. Design of the planting arrangement will soften and bring character to the development, as well as improving biodiversity.
- A gentle transition from the existing agricultural land; achieved by new productive allotments throughout the site, and through the provision of open recreational space on the eastern edge.
- Planting situated to provide a green boundary for the site and manage the transition to the wider open landscape.
- Green spaces would include networks of walking and cycling routes, parks, squares, sports grounds, play facilities and community infrastructure.
- New views and public vantage points will comprise well-treed street scenes, open parkland and wooded landscapes as well as north-easterly views towards Cherwell valley.
- Sustainable drainage features across the site will be well integrated with existing and new water features
The green infrastructure has been designed to accord with Building with Nature Principles, a framework taking a proactive approach to nature-friendly development, sensitive to location and context, that cares about long-term maintenance and management.
An all-electric strategy will be used for Water Eaton to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent air pollution. Renewable energy options which are being considered include air source heat pumps and solar power. Smart energy management and storage will also form part of the proposed development, including the use of hot water storage batteries and electric vehicle charging.
Other sustainability measures include that buildings will be designed using a ‘fabric first’ approach. This means that a reduction in energy demand will be achieved through building orientation, glazing, ventilation and shading, using low energy fixtures and fittings, alongside water efficiency measures.
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