A HOUSING developers has bought a large tract of land from an Oxfordshire-based farming research institute.

Cala Homes has bought the fields from CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) just outside Wallingford.

The sale will enable CABI to build a new state-of-the-art headquarters and allow CALA to bring 91 homes.

CABI, an international not-for-profit which uses cutting-edge research to help farmer in the developing world, is based in buildings which were formerly part of the Carmel College – Europe's only Jewish boarding school – on Nosworthy Way.

The organisation was originally refused planning permission for the housing scheme in 2016 when the council said it would be an overdevelopment in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However, CABI appealed against that decision and won in August last year.

The housing estate will include 18 affordable homes, a play area and wild flower meadow.

CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls said Cala's landscaping 'reflected CABI’s mission to protect biodiversity and the environment'.

Jolyon Price, Partner at Ridge, 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”.