BULLDOZERS have finally rolled onto farmland at North West Bicester to start building the UK’s first eco settlement.
Work on the Bicester eco town is now under way almost five years after the Government chose Bicester as one of four sites to pioneer green living.
Bicester is the first site to see start work.
Over the next few months the entrance to the site will be built off Banbury Road, and builders will start to construct the spine road through to what will be the energy centre and primary school, and two bridges.
Traffic lights will go up on Banbury Road on Tuesday and work to build the junction is expected to take up to three months.
The project has had several false starts after plans for 393 homes, an energy centre, school, shops, business centre and eco pub were approved in August 2011.
Project director Steve Hornblow said: “It was a big day. It’s the proper start on site, the diggers are moving onto site.”
The summer will also see the foundations laid for the first homes.
Mr Hornblow said the energy centre, which will provide heat to all homes, will take about a year to build. It is hoped a show home will open early in 2015 and the first residents are expected to move in next summer.
Mr Hornblow added: “We have talked about it for a long time and we really want to show people what we can deliver. This place is going to be special.”
Developer A2Dominion expects to sell about 100 homes a year and complete the first phase within five years.
A masterplan for the entire site has been submitted to Cherwell District Council and further work on transport is expected to be added to it by the end of May.
More consultation on the masterplan will take place later this year.