Graven Hill

Graven Hill

For people wanting to build their own home, Graven Hill represents a unique opportunity not seen before in the UK. Not only will the site deliver the country’s largest self-build housing project but it is subject to the first-large scale Local Development Order to simplify the planning process.

The 187 hectare site was purchased by Cherwell District Council and has outline permission for up to 1,900 homes and one million square feet of commercial space with the capacity to create up to 2,000 jobs and apprenticeships. Homes are expected to vary from detached properties or terraces to apartments and bungalows depending on individual designs.

The consent includes the provision of a primary school, pub/restaurant, nursery and local shops. There is scope to add another 200 homes on land adjoining the self-build site, bringing the overall site size to 241 hectares and the final total of housing planned to 2,100.

The first plots were released in 2016 for self-builders to purchase and begin developing ahead of the first facilities opening in 2018. People can build their homes themselves, appoint a contractor to build on their behalf or purchase a ‘kit home’. There will be opportunities to work as part of a group as well as affordable rent and shared ownership schemes.

The site will be delivered in stages over a ten year period. The first phase will be subject to a Local Development Order specifying guidelines such as the buildings’ maximum height and approved materials. Self-builders who work within these parameters will not need to apply for individual planning consent.

So far more than 4,000 people have registered an interest in the site and Channel 4 have commissioned a six-part ‘My Grand Designs’ (w/) series hosted by Kevin McCloud to document the delivery of the first ten homes.

The project will be delivered by the Graven Hill Village Holding Company – which is wholly owned by Cherwell District Council – and its subsidiary, the Graven Hill Village Development Company.


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