Proposals for ‘21st Century’ Garden Village in Oxfordshire Lodged

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has lodged an outline planning application for Salt Cross to the north of Eynsham in West Oxfordshire, UK.

  • Salt Cross set to deliver up to 2,200 new homes, green space, community amenities and a 27-hectare business park
  • Designs reflect collaboration and dialogue with local residents and stakeholders, drawing on community, developer and council expertise
  • Project builds on garden village principles to deliver sustainable growth, by enhancing the natural environment and embracing low-carbon technologies

The project has sought to adapt garden village principles for the 21st century - ensuring it will meet the community’s future economic and social needs, while paving the way for a substantial reduction in carbon emissions. 

The masterplan sets out provision for 2,200 homes, new primary and secondary schools, sports facilities, parks, allotments and 57,000 sqm of employment space.  The new employment park is designed in particular to attract advanced manufacturing businesses.  

The site was one of 14 garden villages endorsed by the UK Government in 2017 to help meet the UK’s housing need.  Grosvenor was appointed in the same year by local landowners to bring forward a planning application for an inclusive and sustainable scheme.   

The project has aimed to establish a new benchmark for community engagement.  Local residents and front-line service providers have been closely involved in the design process through a series of events, exhibitions and study tours of other award-winning developments.  A two-day interactive design workshop in May 2019 was attended by over 100 residents, community groups and stakeholders including Natural England, the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission and local landowners.

Salt Cross, formerly known as the Oxfordshire Garden Village is the first new community outside London designed to act on the ambitious sustainability goals set last year by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to address the climate emergency.  Commitments include:

  • A net biodiversity gain will be achieved with 40% of the site remaining undeveloped, including just under 4 hectares of new woodland planted to preserve and improve natural habitats and capture carbon
  • 20% of the village’s energy demand will be met using renewable sources. Land will be safeguarded for a smart energy hub to connect to renewable energy projects and for an electric vehicle charging station
  • All homes will be energy efficient, with a focus on building fabric that outperforms current Building Regulations
  • The entire site will use electricity for heating and hot water to help save up to 80% of carbon emissions compared with gas heating
  • Walking and cycling will be encouraged by a network of green, segregated routes linking homes and workplaces, including a dedicated cycleway to the local station.

Opportunities to design in further sustainability measures to help meet local aspirations around net zero carbon will be explored through the build-out period for the development.

The application is the largest to date for Grosvenor’s Strategic Land division, which aims to have a portfolio of at least 30,000 homes by 2023.  

Silvia Lazzerini, Project Director for Strategic Land at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, commented: “This application is the result of extensive dialogue with the community, council and stakeholders to make sure we understood and listened to local priorities and shaped our masterplan around them.  Salt Cross presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver the homes that the area needs.  It is also a chance to set a new benchmark for what a sustainable, deliverable development at scale can look like.   

“From the outset our vision has been to create a new community which respects the natural environment - a place where people and nature can not only live alongside one another, but actually thrive together. This outline masterplan is an early step on that journey to establish a neighbourhood that will grow and strengthen over time.”

AECOM acts as planning consultant for the project, Terence O’Rourke delivering design and masterplanning, Stantec providing engineering support and Tate Hindle Architectural input.

Details of the plans will be published on the West Oxfordshire District Council planning portal for the public to view in due course:


About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates great places where communities, business and nature thrive. 

In London’s West End, we support 9,000 residents, c1,000 businesses and 50,000 workers every day. We also create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in London, Liverpool and across the South East of England. 

We are one part of a global, family owned business that has been developing and managing land and property for over 340 years.  Thinking long term allows us to give equal weight to the environmental, social and commercial impact of everything that we do. 

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