'Cluster' of Oxfordshire villages to be linked up with cycle routes, vehicle sharing and joint work hubs

The Blenheim Estate wants to help them build a more sustainable future.

Blenheim has appointed an all-female team of engineers, architects and planners from VeloCity to help.

It'll work with the Oxfordshire estate to 're-imagine a future based around people, places, public transport and new technology.'

Blenheim's project aims to address things like social and health inequality, lack of connectivity and declining community facilities such as schools, shops and pubs.

Among the proposals is to connect eight villages within the estate - Bladon, Cassington, Church Hanborough, Combe, Long Hanborough, Wootton, Stonesfield and Old Woodstock - with integrated networks of bridleways and cycle routes.

"This plan has become even more relevant and timely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and we believe this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to completely re-evaluate our approach and look at how we can all work together to create a sustainable and better future for us all," said Roy Cox, Blenheim Estate Land Director. 

"It addresses the aspirations and objectives set out in the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan, a partnership between four districts and Oxford City, to create a framework for future decision making on big issues like development, infrastructure and placemaking," he added.
 
The village cluster would include places to meet or work and reduce the need to travel.

Any new housing developments would be low carbon, using local materials sourced through local supply chains, building on traditional village character and forms.

Transport sharing options are also being considered, with local delivery initiatives using electric vehicles.

As well as securing significant environmental benefits - reducing car dependency, congestion and pollution - Roy Cox said it would provide important social, economic and health benefits, by encouraging walking and cycling, and strengthening village life.
 
Blenheim Estate Land will now start consulting with local villages about the plans.

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