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The organisations behind the delivery of 6,000 true zero carbon homes at North West Bicester have won an international award for their dedication to sustainability

Cherwell District Council’s EcoBicester team, Bioregional and NW Bicester eco-town developers A2Dominion have jointly been awarded the Green Apple Environment award for the Built Environment category.

The awards recognised the organisations’ One Shared Vision initiative to extend the sustainability concept for 6,000 true zero carbon homes at NW Bicester in Oxfordshire, the UK’s first eco-town, across the rest of the town. The first, Exemplar phase with just under 400 homes is now under construction.

The annual Green Apple Environment awards have been awarded  since 1994 to promote, recognise and reward schemes which promote environmental best practice across the world.

Lewis Knight, Bioregional’s Bicester Eco Town project manager said: “This is an ambitious project that will make sustainable living a reality. Being recognised as a One Planet Community differentiates the first, Exemplar phase o f NW Bicester from other schemes claiming green credentials and positions the project amongst some of the greenest neighbourhoods in the world.”

Gabi Kaiser of Cherwell’s EcoBicester project team, said: “The main achievement of the EcoBicester programme is to encourage the growth in sustainability culture and awareness of environmental issues by the people and businesses of Bicester. It is founded on a strong aspiration to ensure existing residents feel the benefits of the development at NW Bicester by creating a low carbon strategy for the town.”

Louise Caves, strategic partnership manager at A2Dominion, said: “Through partnership working we are able to create a truly exemplary and sustainable town for the 21st century.”

The Green Apple Awards are organised by the not-for-profit Green Organisation to promote sustainable living. Cherwell, Bioregional and A2Dominion were nominated for an award in the Built Environment category which recognises the success of the Eco-town development and the wider sustainability work across all of Bicester.

In their award submission, the three partners highlighted the high sustainability standards being met through the new development, including the use of a combined heat and power plant and photovoltaic panels to supply electricity and heat to homes. These efforts have helped the site to become one of only nine One Planet  Communities worldwide, with a sustainability action plan endorsed by Bioregional and based on ten One Planet Living principles.

Across the rest of Bicester, sustainability efforts have included a town-wide retrofitting of public and community buildings as well as individual homes and annual bike days.

For more information on the awards visit www.thegreenorganisation.info