CALA Homes (Chiltern) has completed the acquisition of land from CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) in Wallingford. The sale will enable CABI to build a brand new, sustainable, state-of-the-art headquarters in the town and allow CALA to bring 91 homes to the area.
CABI is an international not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Its current international headquarters, off Nosworthy Way, occupies an outdated 1960s school building on the site, which is no longer adequate. CABI secured reserved matters approval of its application for its new building in October, allowing the sale of part of its land to CALA to move ahead.
CABI is a significant local employer and securing this sale and the permission to create new premises in Wallingford will enable the organisation to retain its international headquarters in the UK.
CALA received detailed approval for the residential element of the scheme – located in the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – in August of last year. As part of its plans, CALA will be bringing 91 new homes to Wallingford, including 18 affordable homes. The homes will be a mix of two to four-bedroom properties and the development will also include play space provision and a wild flower meadow. CALA will also be making a significant Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payment to South Oxfordshire District Council.
Andrew Aldridge, land director at CALA Homes (Chiltern), commented: “We’re thrilled to have completed the purchase of this land from CABI. The benefits of this deal are much greater than the creation of 91 much needed new homes in South Oxfordshire. It also means the retention of a globally-renowned organisation in the UK and an important employer locally. We look forward to working together to create a long legacy for CABI and the local community in Wallingford.”
CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with CALA on this development. Throughout the process, the company has been sensitive to ensure that the combined housing and office design, and landscaping reflect CABI’s mission: to protect biodiversity and the environment. The development will be an attractive and energy efficient working environment – an appropriate headquarters for an international organisation. At the same time, it will be a model of sustainability and modern design – something that everyone in the community can be proud of.”
Jolyon Price, partner at Oxford-based Ridge and Partners, said: “We are delighted to have been part of the CABI team helping make plans for this site a reality. We have faced some challenges along the way due to the proximity to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and I’m proud that the teams persistence has led to engaging CALA Homes and gaining planning permission. We are excited about the next stage for the project as Ridge will now manage the build of the new headquarters, which will start on site in December.”
Work on the first phase of homes begins in November.