Here, we answer some of the questions we are frequently asked about the opportunities at Graven Hill and what is involved with creating your dream home in this superb location.

Most commonly asked questions

  • What is Graven Hill?

    Graven Hill is currently the largest opportunity in the UK for people who want to build their own home. This will be for households of all sizes and will include opportunities for people to build as individuals or as a group.

    A beautiful development with extensive open space including woodland, allotments, a network of cycle and footpaths and communal spaces. Graven Hill will have a primary school, a pre-school nursery and a community centre. There will also be premises available for shops and a local pub.

    The site also provides a strategic location for new employment space creating jobs and training for local people and attracting new investment into Bicester.

  • Where is Graven Hill?

    Graven Hill is located at the southern edge of Bicester, just 13 miles north east of Oxford. Bicester is now growing into a garden city in the heart of the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.

    The Ministry of Defence (MOD) currently has a presence on part of the site, but it is expected that they will have vacated the majority of the site by the end of 2019.

    Find out more about the local area.

  • What is the link with Cherwell District Council?

    Cherwell District Council was chosen as one of eleven Vanguard councils to promote and enable self and custom build homes in the UK.

    As a local authority Cherwell District Council is keen to promote a range of housing options in the district including self and custom-build. The council is also keen to ‘play its part’ in delivering new housing and developing brownfield sites, like Graven Hill, a concept very much tied in with the current Government’s ambitions for increasing the speed and choice of housing supply.

    Cherwell District Council also sees the wider benefits such as the introduction of new open space areas and the creation of local employment.

  • What is special about Graven Hill?

    This is a unique opportunity for people to build or buy the home of their dreams. Graven Hill has captured the imagination of the nation because of the:

    • New housing opportunities: This is currently the largest opportunity to build your own home in the UK. You will be able to determine the home for you and your family in line with your budget and your needs. For many this will be something that comes along only once in a lifetime.
    • Ideal location: Graven Hill is in Bicester with fantastic local amenities, beautiful countryside and excellent road and rail links.
    • Beautiful green spaces: Graven Hill is an attractive site, with extensive open space, including the hill itself with its beautiful, protected woodland. The great news is, it’s going to get even better. There will be at least eight play areas, thoughtful landscaping, sports amenities, allotments and a network of cycle and footpaths.
  • What happens at the Plot Shop?

    The Plot Shop has been designed to help bring to life the concept of self-building or customising a home at Graven Hill.

    Based in the lively Pioneer Square in Bicester Town, you can meet the Graven Hill team who are on hand to offer information and advice on the type of plots or properties available, the design features of the site, as well as to offer practical support on issues such as planning permission and who to talk to about financing a self-build.

    Arrange a chat with one of our friendly Sales team at the Plot Shop

  • What kind of house could I build?

    The possibilities are endless. For Self-Build plots there will be a range of plot shapes, sizes and (depending on their location within the development) varying levels of design freedom. This will all be specified in your plot’s unique Plot Passport and within the Graven Hill Design Code.

    One of the great things about building at Graven Hill is that you are in control and you can build a home that is totally configured to your lifestyle and your taste.

  • What is a Golden Brick?

    The term refers to the condition in which the plots at Graven Hill will be transferred to purchasers at the completion of the sales contract.

    All Self-Build plots will be sold with the foundations, drainage, substructure walls, ground floor slab and utility connections to the plot boundary already in place.

    The foundations, drainage, substructure walls, and ground floor slab will be designed and installed by Graven Hill. It is bespoke for each self-builder’s home design.

    The adoption of this method of delivery is necessary in order that the sale constitutes the grant of a first major interest in a residential dwelling which currently attracts a zero rating for Value Added Tax (VAT) under current HMRC rules

  • What is Mix and Match?

    Mix and Match is Graven Hill’s latest Self-Build offering. Graven Hill is engaging with a range of trusted suppliers to deliver a fantastic new offer to our purchasers.

    The Mix and Match product is designed to offer you reassurance on cost while still giving you design flexibility.

    Each Mix and Match plot will have a number of design options from which you can choose.

    The benefit of this is that the design is already agreed, giving you all the information to price the foundations so you know from the outset the associated costs of your project.

    Mix and Match is not available yet, but you can see where the plots will be located on site.

  • What is Tailored Finish?

    Graven Hill Tailored Finish homes give you the opportunity to customise the internal layouts and finishes within your chosen new build property from a menu of options when you reserve your plot early.

    It gives you flexible, high quality living space that is tailored to suit your needs without you having to build it yourself.

    This is a new concept in British homes, offering you so much more than the usual volume housebuilder product.

    Help to Buy is available on Tailored Finish homes.

    Find your perfect Tailored Finish home.

  • How long does it take to build a home?

    It varies considerably depending on a range of factors. Your timeline will change depending on:

    • The size of your home
    • The complexity of your design
    • Whether you do the work yourself or engage others (friends or paid contractors) to help you
    • Your construction approach, for example a kit home may be quicker on site, but may require a longer lead in time before you start on site

    Please note: The Graven Hill sales contract has a stipulation that your house must be built out within a specific period, which is currently two years from the date you completed on the Golden Brick foundations on your Self-Build plot.

  • How do I get a mortgage?

    All purchasers currently need to be qualified by BuildStore.

    A number of lenders now provide mortgages for self-build homes. We strongly recommend you speak to a broker or lender and get an initial opinion on whether you will be able to get a mortgage and how much deposit you will need before spending money on design.

    Take a look at the finance options available for a self-build project.

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