News - Construction News

Plot shop opens in Oxfordshire

The UK’s first ‘plot shop’ has been opened by Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

This one-of-a-kind shop was conceived to sell plots of land on the Graven Hill site to people wanting to build their own home.

The Graven Hill site is set to become the largest development of its kind in the UK, with over 1,900 plots available for custom build homes, and the plot shop promises to provide assistance and advice to those joining the self-build journey.

Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma said: “We need to get creative with how we build our housing in this country, to deliver more of the right homes in the places people want to live.

“With the opening of the UK’s first ‘plot shop’, the journey to building your own home can now start on the high-street.

“As confirmed in our housing white paper, we are committed to doubling the number of custom and self build homes by 2020 – so that anyone who wishes to design their dream house can do so.

“Through diversifying the housing market in this way, we can give people greater choice over the homes they live in – whether that’s buying on the open market or by commissioning and building their dream home.”

Karen Curtin, Managing Director of Graven Hill said: “The official opening of the shop is significant, not only because the government is recognising the importance of our unique development, but because we are also able to announce that purchasers opting for a Tailored Finish home may be able to access the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

“Graven Hill is pioneering in the sense that for the first time, new home-buyers have the flexibility to choose between building their own house and custom designing one that meets their individual requirements.”

The UK government sees custom-build properties as a crucial tool in tackling the housing crisis, with the potential to deliver some 40,000 homes. Similar schemes are very hugely popular in Holland and Germany.

In order to support this ambition, a Home Building Fund was launched in October 2016, providing some £1Bn in short term loan finance to support small and medium-sized enterprise builders, innovation and custom build.

Alongside this, every council across the country has been required to hold a register of those seeking to build their own home since April 2016.

Local authorities will use their registers as a measure of demand for self and custom build in their areas. The legislation requires local authorities to find and commission sufficient land to match the demand on their registers. Over 18,000 aspiring home owners are now registered.


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