Our Vision and Values


Our overarching vision for Graven Hill is:

  • To offer the largest opportunity in the UK for people who want to build their own home.
  • To have extensive open space including woodland, allotments, cycle paths and sports pitches.
  • To deliver a scheme that looks different to typical UK housing developments where individuality and creativity will be supported and a strong sense of identity achieved through the retention of existing landscape features.
  • To provide a strategic location for new employment space, creating jobs for local people and attracting new investment into Bicester.

GHVDC is committed to reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency to protect the environment for future generations. We also promote the use of local products and resources in our procurement policy and 60% of the suppliers we use are within a 60 mile radius.

An award-winning development

Graven Hill was the winner of the Best Custom Build Project or Model in the 2017 Build It Awards.

The judges commented that, “GHVDC was setting the mould for repeatable, large-scale custom build across the UK.”

“With impressive early-phase plot sales and the first self-builders due to move in within the next few weeks, Graven Hill has become the blueprint for many councils and project enablers to follow.” 


Careys Civil Engineering, Graven Hill’s lead contractors, currently has two apprentices on site training as groundworkers.

Working alongside Carey’s skilled groundworkers, this will be for a minimum of a year while they are studying their NVQ Level 2 in Construction Operations.

Bicester Green

Graven Hill lead contractors, Careys Civil Engineering, upgraded the entrance and car park to Bicester Green.

The charity restores bikes, furniture and electrical items so they can be donated or resold.

Beattie Passive Flying Factory

Set up on the development, it not only supplies the site but provides jobs for people from the local area.

The Flying Factory really is ‘manufacturing locally’.

Trussell Trust Food Bank

Before Christmas 2017, we collected food for the Trussell Trust Food Bank, based in Market Square, Bicester.

This helped the charity provide emergency supplies to people in need over the holiday period.

Our Governance

Cherwell District Council is committed to delivering new housing choices, increased economic development opportunities and to build sustainable communities.

Graven Hill Village Holding Company Ltd (GHVHC) and Graven Hill Village Development Company Ltd (GHVDC) were created by Cherwell District Council to own and develop Graven Hill.

After significant due diligence, including looking at European sites, Graven Hill was purchased from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in 2014.

GHVHC and GHVDC have boards of directors made up of a mix of council-elected members and council officers, executive directors and independent non-executive directors.

The companies have the same responsibilities as a standard development body – to be commercially successful and deliver to an approved business plan.

Supporting the Custom and Self-Build sector

GHVDC is a proud member of the National Custom & Self Build Association, whose mission it is to make Custom and Self-build a mainstream choice for everyone seeking a home of their own.

For further information, please visit NaCSBA’s website  or the Self Build Portal to find your local self build register.