Work has begun on creating the UK's first eco-town in Oxfordshire.

Willmott Dixon has the task of bringing this environmentally friendly neighbourhood to fruition after lead developer A2Dominion started preparing the site for building works. The aim is to create 6,000 sustainable new homes in north-west Bicester (NW Bicester) to dramatically reduce the amount of emissions produced in the region.

The first phase of development, named Exemplar, will involve the building of 393 energy efficient, zero carbon homes which would create the UK's first community with zero emissions. Officials explained that the work will have 40 per cent green space and have cutting edge technology, economic opportunities and community engagement.

Exemplar will have a primary school, community centre, eco pub and an eco business and retail centre among a host of other key energy efficient aspects. There are a number of core elements which are unique to this development including all homes being built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. All property will be able to cope with climate change peaks of up to ten degrees C meaning that they stay warm during winter but do not overheat in the summer.

Steve Hornblow, NW Bicester Project Director at A2Dominion, explained: “NW Bicester is about enabling people to live modern-day lifestyles but with traditional values. We want the Exemplar to become a vibrant and resilient community where people know their neighbours.

"We’ve designed community space to incorporate communal barbecue areas, herb boxes and seating with features to encourage children to play safely in the street."

The UK government has been committed to reduce the amount of emissions the country produces for a number of years. In June 2013, ministers announced plans to cut the UK's greenhouse gas by 80 per cent by 2050 and thus limiting the impact that it has on the environment. The creation of eco-towns could be one of the steps that could be seen more frequently in the future.

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