Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Christopher Pincher MP, today visited Graven Hill, the UK’s largest custom and self-build development site, in Bicester, Oxfordshire.
The visit follows the Government’s launch of a 12-week consultation to create a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, which aims to guide the growth of the area until 2050. The Framework is a long-term strategic plan for making the area a better place to live and supporting long-term economic growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
The ministerial visit included a tour around the site to showcase how Graven Hill has been championing the future of housing, through self-build, custom build, and new build homes, as well as a wide range of innovative building techniques.
Graven Hill sits directly in the Arc and will play a significant role in the development of the scheme, not least because of Bicester’s future location on the East-West Rail route from Oxford to Cambridge.
Mr Pincher was able to see some of the innovative builds being undertaken by Graven Hill’s residents, as well as visiting the Build It Education House, which aims to give would-be self-builders an insight into the processes involved in a project.
In the last 12 months, Graven Hill has seen a number of house completions and the
Mr Pincher and Cllr Wood were also on hand to cut the ribbon on the next residential phase at Graven Hill which will see 18 new serviced plots released for sale from Saturday 2nd October as part of the Build It Live event in Bicester.
Karen Curtin, managing director at Graven Hill, said: “The Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework is an exciting development, bringing jobs, homes and economic prosperity to the local area. Oxfordshire continues to be a popular place to live, so homes will be hugely important in ensuring the initiative is a success.
“The UK housing market is lacking in variety and we know that people are looking for more than cookie-cutter homes. We’re doing something different that truly offers choice, flexibility and personality. There are exciting things in the pipeline too and we hope that the Bacon Review findings and the upcoming Help to Build legislation will encourage developers across the UK to also consider self and custom build plots as a key aspect of their developments. They’ve been hugely popular at Graven Hill and we are excited to be launching our next phase this weekend.”
Housing Minster RT Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “We are levelling up the whole country and unlocking the huge potential of the entire Oxford-Cambridge Arc. Places like Graven Hill show just how we can build high quality, well designed, new homes and make sure this popular area continues to be a beautiful place to live, work and visit.
“Improving the planning process across the region will support the housing sector, create thousands of jobs, drive investment and vital infrastructure, and protect the environment. I want residents and local communities to have their say on the future of the area and encourage everyone to fill out our online consultation.”
Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council said: “The UK is moving in the right direction when it comes to advocating self and custom build as an alternative to traditional housing. We’re proud to see Bicester leading from the front on this and look forward to what’s to come.”