Residents and businesses can give their views on how greener commercial buildings can be built at a new technology park development in Didcot.
Hill Farm in Appleford and near Didcot is the site of a proposed Local Development Order (LDO) which local planning authorities use to set out the overall design of a site.
It also helps speed up the planning process for preferred types of development there, such as industrial buildings with energy-efficient measures. This LDO design includes a data centre, waste management, a wood recycling organisation and a battery storage facility.
Bringing in the LDO would require developers to use sustainable materials in the construction and provide energy-efficient measures such as better insulation and build in low carbon technologies, such as heat pumps and solar panels. There would also be height restrictions on buildings to respect the local environment.
The council has made tackling the climate emergency one of its core priorities and has set a target to become a carbon-neutral district by 2045 – by improving energy efficiency and supporting businesses to introduce renewable energy.
Other green plans for the technology park will include landscaping to enhance and protect wildlife and increase biodiversity. New planting, hedgerows and water features would be positioned around the park, and a wet woodland habitat to support insects, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Green walls and roofs could be provided to further support nature.
To help reduce car journeys, the LDO would make sure developers include cycle routes and footpaths in their plans and install electric vehicle and e-bike charging points.
Councillor Debby Hallett, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We support LDOs because they encourage the types of business and buildings that would be suitable for a site and help to ensure our aims to tackle climate change are taken into consideration.
We hope that this development will bring new jobs to support the economic recovery following the pandemic, and this consultation is one of the ways residents and businesses can give us their views on how the new site is developed in the future.”
The formal consultation is now open until midday of 25 May 2022 on the council planning application page.