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Demand Surges for Plots at Self-Build House Project

There are 1,900 plots to be had at the Graven Hill location outside Bicester, but demand has outstripped supply: more than 2,500 people are interested in building their own home at the site.

According to the director of the company backing the development, the amount of interest shown has been ‘fantastic’.

The first 10 homes of the Graven Hill Development, which is the largest self-build project in the UK, will be featured in My Grand Design, a six-part documentary presented by Kevin McCloud.

Experts recently held workshops to advise aspiring homeowners as to how people can go about building their own homes on the land, which formerly belonged to the Ministry of Defence. The event was hosted by representatives of the Graven Hill Village Holding and Development Company, which manages the project, so that prospective residents can start planning.

Company director Karen Curtin said that the project has attracted huge amounts of interest from all over the country. The plots will not be released for reservation for another six months, but more than 2,500 people have expressed a strong interest in acquiring one of the 1,900 plots available.

Ms Curtin added that the workshops gave interested parties the opportunity to learn more about the concept of self-building and all it entails, from plot selection, mortgages, and self build warranty options.

Many insurers will offer a self build structural warranty to individuals who are building their own primary residences. Typically a self build warranty will provide 10 years of coverage for damage due to defects in the design, materials, components, or workmanship of the structure or the waterproof envelope.

The site, which measures 187 hectares, belongs to the Cherwell District Council. Planning permission has also been given for shops, a pub, business offices, and a primary school. Prices for self-build plots prices are size-dependent and range from £95,000 to £105,000.

Lynn Pratt, Cherwell district councillor, said that she was surprised by how much interest the scheme has attracted from all over the country. She admitted to being “a little bit sceptical” when the idea was first presented, and although she has watched the television programmes, she did not think that the concept would acquire such a life of its own.

“I think that it is amazing that there are a lot of people who have shown interest,” Ms Pratt said.


Specialists in Construction Insurance

The Graven Hill Village Holding Company manages the site, which is owned by the district council. The development includes plans for apartment buildings, detached homes, semi and terraced buildings, bungalows, eco homes, and more.

The first plot reservations will be taken later this year. Interested parties registering on the project website are required to provide details about themselves and their plans. It’s a 15-minute process that enables the organisers to allocate sites to match the demand for the different types of self-build.

The primary servicing and infrastructure work will begin in 2016, with the first phase of plots expected to become available later in the year. Representatives of the Graven Hill Village Holding and Development Company say that if everything goes according to plan, there will be hundreds of innovative and unique new homes constructed and lived in by 2017.


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