A smart and fair future for Eynsham: Low Carbon Hub grants programme

Each year every Community Member of the Low Carbon Hub is eligible to apply for a large grant of up to £5000, to support carbon-cutting activities, and we are usually able to award 2-3 grants per year.

This year one of our grant recipients is GreenTEA (Transition Eynsham Area). They applied for a Low Carbon Hub grant to support their idea of a ‘Smart and Fair Futures Inspiration Panel’.

This idea came about in reaction to two large housing developments which are being planned for the Eynsham area: the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village (around 2,200 new homes, employment space and new community facilities) and the West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (160 new homes). GreenTEA wanted to do their best to make sure these new housing developments took sustainability and futureproofing into consideration.

The panel will be made up of local specialists in housing design, renewables, biodiversity, transport planning, master-planning and the wider planning process. These experts will scrutinise plans, support the local planning authority in requiring the highest standards and put forward ideas for an exemplary sustainable development, future-proofed with the very best technologies in line with national climate targets.

The Low Carbon Hub is delighted to be able to support carbon-cutting community projects like GreenTEA’s through our grants programme. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this important project, which we hope other communities will be able to learn from, enabling them to do the same for new housing developments in their own areas.

We need buildings and places that look beautiful, stand the test of time and don’t cost the earth. The planning process has a huge role to play in making sure we get them.

As we emerge from the pandemic and rethink our impact on the world we need to seize the opportunity to shift gear in our response to the climate and ecological emergency. The time is right: with the UK hosted UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) approaching, this is the chance for the UK to show it can rise to the challenge. This initiative will kickstart an exciting county-wide project as a Smart and Fair Neighbourhood which is being set up as part of Project LEO
(Local Energy Oxfordshire). The Eynsham area will be the largest Smart and Fair Neighbourhood area in the county. We think this an opportunity to lead the way in building a community fit for the future.

In the midst of a climate and ecological emergency, we need to start doing things very differently. We need to plan for the homes and communities of the 22nd century. The panel intends to show what we should be aiming for as well as making sure developers and the planning authority stick to their promises. If Oxfordshire can’t do it – who can?

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