Oxfordshire Garden Village will be a place that celebrates natural and social ecosystems, allowing wildlife, plants and people to co-exist, thrive and benefit from each other.
A sanctuary of modern living within a rural West Oxfordshire setting, where the human footprint respects and cares for natural habitats.
Through a holistic and coordinated approach, the Garden Village can become a vibrant community and a desirable place to live, work, or visit where people and nature can come together.
Grosvenor wants to learn from the existing local community and successful places and use this to imagine how future communities will want to live and work in the Garden Village.
Throughout this process of learning as well as observing the site’s natural assets, five enduring themes for the vision have begun to emerge:
Separately the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has prepared a definition of a garden village as follows:
‘A holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities’
The TCPA has also prepared detailed guidance of what they believe a Garden Village should contain, as well as a number of key principles.
The local community has endorsed these principles, which have also been promoted by the Council in their policy framework and therefore Grosvenor is seeking to honour them as part of the vision for the site. Please click on each principle to find out how the vision for the garden village is responding.
As master developer, Grosvenor is leading an expert team to ensure the submission of a high quality and deliverable outline planning application. There has been a large commitment made to community engagement both through formal events and exhibitions and informal meetings and continued dialogue. To find out more about the public engagement process to date, please click here.
There are many successful examples of community and parish land ownership and management which enable local residents to take greater pride in maintaining their neighbourhood and feeling more connected. Grosvenor aspires to establish a successful and long-term governance structure which new and existing residents can control and manage.
The Garden Village is ideally positioned to take advantage of policy drivers and growth ambitions for Oxfordshire and provide more capacity for businesses to capture wider economic opportunities. It will also help West Oxfordshire to achieve a step change in its economic performance, attractiveness as a business location and improve its portfolio of high skilled local job opportunities.
Grosvenor recognises that affordability is a key issue in Oxfordshire and that this can only be resolved through a strong mix of affordable housing tenures, both for rent and ownership. It is vital that the Garden Village is tenure blind and that affordable housing units are suitably apportioned throughout all phases of development. This enables every resident to feel a sense of belonging and facilitates a more socially integrated community.
The need to minimise impact on the existing congestion on the A40 corridor is critical and Grosvenor is committed to continue working with the local councils to ensure that the benefits of positive initiatives for important A40 improvements, including committed investment on the new Park & Ride and priority bus lane and HIF Bid for further capacity enhancement are integrated with proposals for the Garden Village. Grosvenor will continue to work with councillors and council officers to support solutions for the long-term future of the A40. As innovation and new technology are developed over the course of the next decades in parallel with the delivery of the Garden Village, we will seek to take advantage of this and adjust and refine the transport strategy for the site.
The site’s natural assets, including woodlands, wet lands and working farmland and proximity to the open countryside offer the opportunity to integrate nature and farming into the urban environment, by providing open space, connections to green network and places for food growing. It is essential that garden villages in the 21st century aim to tackle inequality, exclusion and loneliness and physical and mental health and wellbeing. This can be achieved through the design of beautiful and functional open/common space, community facilities, sports pitches and spaces for informal play, the curation of areas for neighbours to regularly interact within the public realm and nature.
There is a great opportunity to develop a masterplan that encourages social cohesion and fosters physical and mental wellbeing, through multi-functional/intergenerational spaces and a mix of uses and sharing of spaces. This will include formal sports provision, informal open space, play space and local parks as well as a mix of retail and convenience shopping space in an environment that supports independent shops and community enterprises that will serve the local people.
The Garden Village will strive to set new standards for design and innovation in nature with a clear commitment to deliver net biodiversity gain by opening up new green spaces, preserving and connecting elements of the existing environment, and encouraging new wildlife to flourish.
An element of the profit generated through land sales will be invested in the provision of social infrastructure including affordable housing, substantial open space, education, health and other community facilities, transport connections, new cycle and walking paths, bus routes and sports facilities. Grosvenor is working with the Council in the preparation of their Infrastructure Delivery Plan to identify the appropriate level and timing of provision.