Bicester’s self-build development community to feature on Grand Designs

Bicester’s self-build housing estate, Graven Hill, will be returning to screens in the second series of Grand Designs:The Streets.

Channel 4 were present at the development during 2019-2022, where they followed a new set of self-builders who have built their homes on the first-of-its-kind site in Bicester. 

The first episode of Grand Designs: The Streets will air this evening (Wednesday 13th April) at 9pm on Channel 4, with four of the five total episodes focusing on Graven Hill homes.

The series explores how self-building can be a viable housing option for anyone, and puts a particular emphasis on creativity and design freedom. Kevin McCloud, the series presenter, also celebrates the innovative planning process available to new residents, which centres on the use of a ‘plot passport’.   

Additionally, the show will aim to show viewers just how many options there are when it comes to self-building.

The first phase of plots at Graven Hill was released in summer 2016, and custom build homes became available from 2018. When finished, the development will comprise 1,900 unique homes. All of which will be surrounded by open, green spaces, with a network of cycle and footpaths and plenty of woodland.     

Gemma Davis, customer experience director at Graven Hill said: “Graven Hill is a bespoke housing development, designed with creativity and imagination at the forefront. Our goal has always been to offer choice to the UK housing market and create a place where likeminded homeowners can come together and live in a uniquely diverse community.  

“Currently, our site is home to a range of houses – from the unique self-build plots, customisable homes, stylish new builds and apartments. The development also provides affordable homes in the form of shared ownership and rentals in partnership with a registered provider.”

The process of self-building will be alien to many, but Gemma confirms that there are lots of options and it is very accessible: “There are a variety of ways that residents have built their own homes over the years. Some residents work with an architect and building contractors to complete the self-build, others hire contractors to do the main build then complete smaller jobs by themselves to cut down on costs, and some choose to do the vast majority themselves.”  

She added: “That’s the beauty of our community – no self-build is the same, and we encourage our residents to figure out a plan that works for them and their home.”



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