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Have your say on a new technology park development in Didcot Garden Town

Residents and businesses can give their views on how greener commercial buildings can be built at a Didcot technology park.

Hill Farm, in Appleford and near to Didcot, is the site of a proposed Local Development Order (LDO), something that 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, through improving energy efficiency and to help support businesses to introduce renewable energy.

Other green plans on the technology park include landscaping to enhance and protect wildlife and increase biodiversity. New planting, hedgerows and water features would be positioned around the park and include 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 to install electric vehicle and ebike charging points.

Cllr Debby Hallett, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation at the 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 new the site is developed in the future.” 

The formal consultation is now open until midday 25 May 2022 via this link to the planning application page.