Bicester’s Eco Business Centre scoops award for planning innovation

Bicester’s newest office and coworking space has been commended by industry experts for planning excellence.

Published: Tuesday, 3rd December 2019

The Eco Business Centre, in North West Bicester, was developed by Cherwell District Council and is an exemplar in sustainability. It is zero carbon and is the first non-residential Passivhaus Plus building in the UK, a rigorous standard for energy efficiency, quality and comfort, planned to create employment alongside sustainable new residential development.

At the Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for the South East, the project was recognised for “excellence in planning for a successful economy” by supporting local entrepreneurs, homeworkers, small businesses and increasing the vibrancy of the local economy.

Robert Jolley, Cherwell’s assistant director for growth and economy said: “The design of the centre needed to provide value for money whilst not compromising on the sustainability of the building and creating an attractive and healthy working environment.”

“The centre uses the latest technology to generate its own power and preserves heat and cool air, resulting in its exceptional energy efficiency rating. Anyone working in the building can be sure they are operating in the most environmentally sustainable way.”

The Eco Business Centre has been open since September and is run by Town Square Spaces Ltd. It includes a coworking space, operating under Cherwell's Perch brand, complimenting the existing Perch facility at Franklins House in the town centre. There is also dedicated office space for small businesses to operate from.

Robert Jolley continued: “Perch is part of the creation of a more sustainable way of living and developing new communities, offering residents the opportunity to work in a professional environment just a stone’s throw from where they live.

“Cutting car use is one of the biggest ways to reduce personal carbon footprints. By giving people a way to change their working habits and removing the necessity of a daily commute, it not only has a positive impact on the environment but can also improve mental and physical wellbeing.”

The Eco Business centre was designed by architects ‘Architype’, renowned for leading the way in creating environmentally sustainable buildings in the UK. The design stage received an outstanding BREEAM rating, with the accreditation for the final project expected shortly.