Bromford secures major self-build partnership

Bromford has signed a deal with Graven Hill Village Development Company to deliver the first phase of affordable housing at what is set to become the UK’s largest self-build community.

After being selected through a competitive tender process, the West Midlands-based housing association has become a partner at the innovative development in Bicester which has planning consent for up to 1,900 homes. Bromford, which has 28,271 homes across its central England operating area, will take ownership of 59 new homes in the next financial year – comprising 27 for affordable rent and 32 for shared ownership.

Philippa Jones, Bromford’s chief executive, said:

“We’re really excited to be working with Graven Hill on what is a truly pioneering development for Britain’s house building sector and one which will act as a trailblazer for a new way of delivering customised homes and empowering communities.

“Bromford’s purpose is to support customers to live in sustainable, long-term communities where people are empowered to take control of their own lives and achieve their aspirations. Graven Hill fits perfectly with this philosophy as they combine eco, low carbon homes with commercial investment to form this new sustainable garden town which will undoubtedly add to the economic prosperity of the surrounding area.”

Bromford impressed Cherwell District Council with its new localities approach to housing management where neighbourhood coaches – working on far smaller patches – are responsible for getting to know each customer and supporting them to build on their skills and resilience. The housing provider has invested £3m into its coaching approach which fits in seamlessly with Graven Hill’s mission of creating a ‘distinctive, diverse and thriving village community.’

Graven Hill’s managing director, Karen Curtin, added:

“We are delighted to welcome Bromford as a key partner in this development. With 30 per cent of the site providing affordable homes, we are confident that we have the same shared vision that will bring forth a diverse community at Graven Hill and we look forward to welcoming the first new residents in spring 2018.”

The former Ministry of Defence (MOD) site will eventually form a new village stretching across 462 acres – an area the size of 300 football fields. It is being delivered in phases over a 10 year period and also includes an extra care scheme, primary school with nursery unit, a village green, sports pitches, eight play areas, business premises and a local retail centre with a pub, cafe, shops, and community centre.

Run by the Graven Hill Village Development Company, the self-build concept will provide a number of options for people to buy into – from kit homes purchased off the shelf, to group/community self-build opportunities, through to custom build where the customer has an element of influence over the house design but employs a contractor to build it.