A constraints and opportunities plan for the site. Click on the image to enlarge.
The development site covers an area of approximately 6.8 acres and is bordered by allotments to the north-east and by a single-track lane to the north-west. Existing houses off Fortescue Drive and The Woodlands can be found to the south-east, while farmland lies to the south-west.
Flood risk and drainage
As the site is currently undeveloped, existing rates of surface water run-off will need to be maintained (known as greenfield run-off rates) post development. This is in line with current National Planning Policy Framework, and the proposals will be designed in consultation with the lead local flood authority and the Environment Agency.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) will be used where possible, in order to mimic the natural surface water drainage of the site prior to development. This is likely to include the use of an attenuation basin with infiltration (should ground conditions allow) and porous paving. Where infiltration techniques are not sufficient to manage surface water, a connection will be made from the attenuation basin to existing Thames Water systems with flow rates limited to greenfield run-off rates.
Foul water drainage will be connected to the Thames Water system, and consultation is currently ongoing with regard to acceptable flow rates.
Chesterton is located approximately 1.5 miles to the south-west of Bicester, with its range of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. There is a village primary school in Alchester Road, a short walk from the development.
A local bus service runs from the centre of Chesterton into Bicester, while Bicester North railway station offers direct services to London Marylebone and Birmingham. The A41 is within easy reach of the development for the M40 and A34.
A landscape and visual assessment identifies that the site is very well contained in terms of views from the wider area by existing mature vegetation at the majority of the site boundaries.
An ecological appraisal has found that boundary hedgerows are of ecological interest and these would be sympathetically retained as part of our development. The hedgerow that runs through the centre of the site would be removed to facilitate development, though there are opportunities to compensate for the loss of hedgerow through improvements to the northern boundary hedge to create an enhanced wildlife corridor.
A range of further ecological surveys have been undertaken including surveys for birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians. The results of these surveys will be used to inform mitigation and enhancement measures to ensure that the development would not harm local biodiversity.
An assessment of all trees at the site has been undertaken by a qualified arboriculturist. The best quality trees occur along the southern and eastern boundaries and these will be sensitively retained as part of our development.
An archaeological assessment of the site has been carried out and further investigation of the potential for the site to contain buried archaeology is now underway.
The results of this archaeological work will allow an informed decision to be made as to whether buried archaeology is present and if archaeological mitigation works will be required.