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Learning from the UK’s largest self & custom build community

  • by JW

Graven Hill: “groundbreaking project”


The District Council is considering planning for a second new town in East Devon:

Proposing more new towns for East Devon: will lessons over Cranbrook be learnt? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Could they be looking to Oxfordshire for inspiration?

With the property market remaining competitive despite the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday last year, how can first-time buyers get onto the property ladder?
Gemma Davis, customer experience director at Graven Hill, the UK’s largest self and custom build community, explained: “For most first-time property buyers, saving for a deposit is often seen as the biggest hurdle. However, having been in and out of lockdowns over the past two years, restrictions have given some people the opportunity to save more money than ever before, allowing them to take their first steps onto the property ladder.”

Property: How to get onto the property ladder as house prices continue to soar |

Here’s the website:

Custom Build & Self Build Homes | Biggest Community in UK | Graven Hill

Self-Build Made Simple With Graven Hill

Here are some nice videos:

Graven Hill – YouTube

Here’s a piece from January this year:

Graven Hill is the first self build village in the UK, and this gamechanger of a homebuilding project offers a transformative route to building your own home. Based in Oxfordshire, Graven Hill helps to make self build possible across a wide range of budgets, and it also simplifies the process of obtaining planning permission. This is everything you need to know about the groundbreaking project, how it works, and how you can apply for a plot in the village.

Graven Hill: The Complete Guide to the UK’s Biggest Self Build Site | Homebuilding

And here’s a piece from today’s Architects’ Journal:

A council in Oxfordshire set out to challenge mediocre mass housing by creating a self-build haven. But is it losing its way?
A white mansion with imposing pillars stands grandly next to a row of brick terraces. Nearby there is a Poundbury-style traditional cottage, a black house and a smattering of modern chalets with big glass windows. Someone even has their own green wall.
On any other new housing development, such an architectural jumble would be discouraged, if not prohibited. But Graven Hill in Oxfordshire – the UK’s largest self and custom build site – is a giant petri dish for design. It’s an audacious bid by Cherwell District Council to turn an ex-army base near Bicester into a community of 1,900 homes.
Since the first ‘pioneers’ arrived in a bare field in 2015, their tumultuous journeys documented on the Grand Designs spin-off The Street, hundreds of brave builders have moved to Graven Hill to have a crack at building their ‘dream homes’. Inspired by the Dutch self-build village of Almere, the development set out to be an antidote to the UK’s swathes of ‘cookie cutter’ homes built by volume housebuilders.

Inside Graven Hill, the UK’s radical self-build experiment