Waterman have been involved with development at this former RAF base near Bicester since 2009. The site accommodates numerous historic buildings associated with past military operations at the base. The entire airbase was designated a Conservation Area in 2006 owing to the distinctive Cold War architecture and layout.
Due Diligence and Land Quality Assessments
Our involvement with the project commenced with a due diligence exercise to identify environmental issues that could result in financial constraints for the client. This initial work identified contamination (including asbestos) as an issue of important consideration and Waterman undertook site surveys and assessments of these matters.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Following the results of these studies, Frogmore, progressed with a planning application for the site and in October 2010, the application was submitted to Cherwell District Council. The new settlement will provide approximately 1,075 dwellings, employment and community uses including a school.
Working closely with the client and other members of the project team, Waterman successfully completed the comprehensive EIA that focussed on the key challenges faced by the development.
The EIA considered a number of key issues, including:
- Landscape heritage, including the RAF Heyford Conservation Area and 5 Scheduled Monuments on or around the site, within its countryside setting;
- Contamination and remediation of the airbase; and
- Ecology, specifically great crested newts and bats which were known to be present on the site.
Waterman undertook detailed consultations with Cherwell Environmental Health Officer, Natural England, English Heritage and the County Archaeologist to arrive at suitable solutions for the design of the development.
In 2011, the site received planning permission and by 2013, the first part of the site was completed.