The UK’s first ever ‘plot shop’ was officially opened on 7 September 2017 in the town of Bicester by Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma.
Located right on the high-street, this one-of-a-kind outlet will sell plots of land on the Graven Hill site in Oxfordshire to those wishing to build their own home – whether from scratch or through customised design.
Once complete, the Graven Hill development will be the largest of its kind in the UK, delivering up to 1,900 new self and custom build homes.
By making it easier to access land and expert advice, Graven Hill’s plot shop promises to pioneer custom and self-build as a mainstream choice for aspiring home owners.
Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma said:
“We need to get creative with how we build our housing in this country, to deliver more of the right homes in the places people want to live.
“With the opening of the UK’s first ‘plot shop’, the journey to building your own home can now start on the high-street.
“As confirmed in our housing white paper, we are committed to doubling the number of custom and self build homes by 2020 – so that anyone who wishes to design their dream house can do so.
“Through diversifying the housing market in this way, we can give people greater choice over the homes they live in – whether that’s buying on the open market or by commissioning and building their dream home.”
Karen Curtin, Managing Director of Graven Hill said:
“We are delighted to welcome Alok Sharma in officially opening the Graven Hill plot shop. The shop’s town centre location has proven to be integral to its success since our soft launch this summer, and we invite anyone thinking of building or customising their next home to visit the shop for an informal chat on the options available or arrange a visit to site.
“The official opening of the shop is significant, not only because the government is recognising the importance of our unique development, but because we are also able to announce that purchasers opting for a Tailored Finish home may be able to access the government’s Help to Buy scheme.
“Graven Hill is pioneering in the sense that for the first time, new home-buyers have the flexibility to choose between building their own house and custom designing one that meets their individual requirements.
“To date, over 81% of plots released in Phase 1a have been sold and over the course of the next 10 years, Graven Hill will become a community of 1,900 properties. We are still at the beginning of our journey but with the first occupations imminent there has never been a more exciting time to be involved with self and custom building.”
Peter Rogerson, Virgin Money’s Director of Mortgages said:
“The custom build market is a really exciting area of new house building that offers significant growth potential, providing a supply of high-quality homes specifically designed to buyers’ individual requirements.
“Virgin Money is committed to helping more people achieve their dream of home ownership and we are proud to be the only mainstream mortgage lender offering a custom build proposition. We worked closely with the team at Graven Hill to develop our proposition, and we are delighted to see the new ‘plot shop’ open to highlight to potential buyers the attractive opportunities available to them.”
Custom build gives aspiring homebuilders the tools to design the house of their dreams, whilst leaving it to the professionals to build it into reality. The result is your home how you want it – without the burden and risk traditionally associated with a full self-build project.
The scheme is hugely popular overseas in Holland and Germany, and has the potential to deliver over 40,000 homes a year in the UK.
Since April 2016, every council across the country has been required to hold a register of those seeking to build their own home. Over 18,000 aspiring custom and self-builders have now signed up to their local registers.
Local authorities will use their registers as a measure of demand for self and custom build in their areas. The legislation requires local authorities to find and commission sufficient land to match the demand on their registers.
Building more homes is at the heart of the government’s plan to fix the broken housing market, as set out in their housing white paper.
Supporting people to design and build their own homes is part of a range of measures introduced to help more people onto the housing ladder and increase housing supply. Since 2010, government-backed schemes have helped over 400,000 households onto the housing ladder.
The government’s Home Building Fund, launched in October 2016, targets £1 billion in short term loan finance to support small and medium-sized enterprise builders, innovation and custom build.