The North West Bicester Masterplan has 40% green space across the site as a mix of public and private open space. Creating an outstanding natural living environment, very different to other high volume residential developments, North West Bicester will encourage a healthy lifestyle with the outdoors on the doorstep.
The vision for the green space at North West Bicester will emphasise local distinctiveness, whilst protecting habitats, and encouraging outdoor activity for the existing and future residents of Bicester.
Protecting existing natural habitats
The Masterplan has been designed sympathetically taking into account the existing natural habitat from the outset. Almost all of the existing hedgerows, the woodland and streams will remain to ensure the site’s natural beauty and natural habitats are preserved.
New habitats will also be created in the man-made reed beds, swales and ponds, encouraging and strengthening species. Meadow grass will be planted in certain areas of the site to encourage wild flowers to grow and biodiversity to flourish, and a nature reserve is also being considered.
Existing bridleways and footpaths are integrated into the Masterplan providing access to the wider rural area through the new development.
Opportunities for outdoor activity
Generous landscape and recreation spaces for sports and play will be in central areas, to encourage community use. All of these spaces are designed to be linked by green corridors to provide easy access to outdoor activity for residents of North West Bicester and the surrounding communities.
The Masterplan proposes to consolidate green space for formal leisure activity and sports into 1 or 2 locations to create viable and accessible sport and leisure for all.
Alongside the large swathes of sports pitches and plays areas, other options being considered as part of the Masterplan consist of a nature reserve, a community farm, formal and informal park areas, a green gym and activities circuit, and a 10km green loop.
The design will also incorporate a large number of community allotments to encourage people to grow food and bring the community together.
Unique landscape creation
All development will be located to fit within the existing landscape features where possible in order to retain natural distinctiveness which would augment and protect the existing rural landscape.
A mix of urban and rural quality green space with green corridors ensures an attractive and accessible network for both people and wildlife.
Footpaths and cycle routes that interlink throughout the site and connect to the town and the surrounding countryside will encourage such uses and greatly enhance health and quality of life.