More than half the population of Britain likes the idea of one day building their own home. The trouble is, it’s usually quite complicated, and often it’s incredibly difficult to find a suitable plot of land. All that will change in Cherwell, as the council is focusing its energy on a fantastic scheme called Graven Hill, where there will be opportunities for many forms of custom build and self build across the site.
Cherwell project Build! offers an individual, or group of people, the opportunity to come together to either build a new home, or to renovate and decorate an existing property. In return for the work they put in they can benefit from a reduced purchase price or lower rental rates. Those involved also get a greater opportunity to create a home that is more suited to their individual needs.
During 2014 and 2015 Cherwell District will be creating 250 new homes in Banbury and Bicester through this project. The properties will be available to buy on a shared ownership or shared equity basis, or to rent at 80% of the open market value. And for those wishing to privately own their home, the council can signpost you to mortgages that are specifically tailored for self-build properties.
Cherwell is also home to the UK’s first large-scale self and custom build project: the site at Graven Hill is big enough to accommodate more than 1,000 self build homes. And there is the potential to provide a really wide variety of types and sizes; big individual plots for grand designers or smaller plots for people on more modest budgets. There could also be opportunities for groups of people to work collaboratively to build their homes, perhaps creating a block of low cost apartments, or a terrace of eco homes. In other countries its quite normal for people to organise their own homes this way. Cherwell is now leading the way in bringing self and custom build into the mainstream here in the UK.