Search About Taylor Wimpey
About Taylor Wimpey
A major urban extension to Didcot in Oxfordshire, including over 3,000 new homes, substantial infrastructure and extensive open space.
The initial land assembly (bringing together different pieces of land) and purchase was carried out by our Strategic Land & Planning team, who then worked closely with our Oxfordshire regional office to secure outline planning permission, including the negotiation of a complex Section 106 planning agreement. The masterplan is divided into three character areas separated by ‘green wedges’ which contain natural features, such as mature hedgerows. The ‘northern neighbourhood’ is the gateway to the site, the central ‘district neighbourhood’ holds the majority of the development’s commercial and community facilities, while the ‘southern neighbourhood’ has more green spaces.
The development is being built in partnership with another private developer. We control over 90% of the land and are the consortium leader. At an early stage we put in place a single brand for Great Western Park to ensure we both use the same sales and marketing approach with co-ordinating signage and brochures and other marketing materials. Regular meetings are held to ensure that we continue to work together effectively. We have also worked with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to secure Direct Grant funding for the affordable homes on phase one.
During the initial planning process there was a full programme of community engagement, including events such as exhibitions and workshops, to enable local people to see plans and voice their support and concerns. We continue to engage with a range of local stakeholders with a particular focus on the more strategic planning documents, such as the framework plans for the ‘neighbourhood’ character areas and where public facilities are planned. The pavilion building has been the subject of separate community engagement and specific consultation with local sports clubs. We meet regularly with representatives of Didcot Town Council and Harwell Parish Council to update them on progress and to inform them of the latest planning applications.
We have also asked local school children and youth groups what playground facilities they would like. Some of their suggestions have been incorporated into the first playground to be built on the development, which opened in the summer of 2012.
Great Western Park has significant infrastructure requirements. We will be investing £60 million in transport, schools, and other community facilities, both within the development itself and in the surrounding area.
The principal road junction serving the development from the north and the primary infrastructure (roads, drainage and services such as electricity and water) to serve the first 400 units is now in place. Off-site works to increase the capacity of the Milton interchange junction with the A34 are planned to be completed in early 2013. Improvement work to footpaths and cycleways outside the development boundary will take place during 2013 and this will help to integrate the development with the surrounding areas.
The site includes 62 hectares of both ‘natural’ and formally landscaped open space, including a central oval, named Boundary Park. Various outdoor sports areas will be provided with full size cricket, rugby and football pitches, four tennis courts and a pavilion. We are also investing in youth sport, providing four junior football pitches, three mini pitches and two multi use games areas. Those sports pitches within Boundary Park will be laid out in 2013 and the pavilion will be built in 2014.
Design & Sustainability
We are providing many community and commercial facilities, such as a healthcare centre, dental practice, retail units, a supermarket, and a restaurant. In addition, approximately 14 hectares of land is being provided to Oxfordshire County Council for new schools and we are providing funding for the construction of two primary schools (£11.8 million contribution) and one secondary school (£16.9 million contribution).
The ‘northern neighbourhood’ is currently being built. A convenience store here will open in 2013. A temporary community centre will also open in 2013 with the main community centre in the ‘district neighbourhood’ to be built later in the development programme.
The affordable homes will achieve Code for Sustainable Homes level 3. As part of the planning requirements we are required to provide one third of the homes with renewable energy systems and we are fulfilling this by installing shower waste heat recovery systems. All of the new homes will be fire-optic enabled, allowing residents access to high speed broadband.
Following preliminary archaeological evaluations, in 2010 we commissioned Oxford Archaeology to complete a full archaeological assessment. We are also working with the Didcot and District Archaeological and Historical Society to ensure any historic findings are recorded and preserved. To date around 20 hectares have been investigated and a long history of human settlement has been uncovered.The earliest finds are from the Mesolithic period (around 8,000BC) with hundreds of worked and burnt flints representing a rare hunter-gatherer campsite. Later finds include, a complete Neolithic pot (an example of the earliest ceramics, dated to around 3,600BC) and Bronze Age cremation burials (dated to about 1,400BC). Evidence suggests a village of between 40 and 50 roundhouses was established here in the early-middle Iron Age (600-100BC). A small late Roman villa with a hypocaust (under-floor heating), stone walls and painted plaster, and a ceramic and limestone tile roof has been partially uncovered and is being preserved within Boundary Park. The presence of an early Saxon sunken-floored building confirms that this was a settlement within the 5th century AD.
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