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Published On: Wed, Mar 27th, 2019

Self-build pioneers to star in Grand Designs

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Graven Hill, described as one of the UK’s most innovative self and custom build villages, is set to appear on new Channel 4 series, Grand Designs: The Street.
The six episodes will follow the stories of 10 ‘pioneers’ as they take part in the project being built on former Ministry of Defence land in Bicester, Oxfordshire. As well as homes, there are plans for commercial units, a pub, and a primary school.
The 188 hectare site will see up to 1,900 homes built over the next decade with the aim of creating a unique community, where homes can be designed to accommodate individuals’ lifestyles.
The new series, presented by Kevin McCloud, starts on o4 April at 9.00pm and will reveal the stories behind the 10 self-builders as they navigate the highs and lows of designing and constructing the home of their dreams.
The pioneers come from all walks of life, ranging from those escaping the renting cycle of London and those who long to build an environmentally-friendly home, to first time buyers and downsizers. Each self-builder faces individual challenges along the way, but they all share the same desire to create the home they have always dreamt of.
‘The series will give viewers an insight into a bold and unique type of housing project, which has the potential to revolutionise the way that people approach both choosing, or building, a new home, and the environmental challenges the UK currently faces,’ said Karen Curtin, managing director at Graven Hill.
‘The platform gives us the opportunity to show viewers the options they have when it comes to self-builds, and that the process is far more accessible than they may think. We hope that the diverse range of homes on the street will inspire others to consider building their own grand design or custom home at Graven Hill,’ she added.
Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs, explained that the idea is that ordinary people are taking part. ‘You take people who have got this slight glint of ambition and madness in their eye who say, ‘we can build a house, can’t we? How cool would that be?’ And before you know it, they’ve turned themselves into true radicals. I love that,’ he explained.
Those taking part include Terry and Olwyn, aged 61 and 73, the oldest couple on the street, who have made the move to Graven Hill from a small village near Daventry. Terry has some building experience and wants to build his own home, whilst the couple are still able. They plan to build a bespoke, future proofed wedge house which Terry plans to project manage and build himself.
They are joined by their old neighbour, Lynn, aged 61, who has made the move as well and will be moving in next door, aided in her build by Terry. Her new house is going to be ultra-modern, in stark contrast to her old home which was a 250 year old cottage.
Chris and Roxie, aged 24, are one of the youngest couples on the street. Having met each other in their early teens, they have been living with their parents and saving up for their first home together. Priced out of Welwyn Garden City, they’ve opted to build their own ‘flat pack’ home at Graven Hill.
Jack and Hannah are also aged 24. Jack, a quantity surveyor and Hannah, a primary school teacher, have moved to Bicester to live with Jack’s mum to save money whilst they build. After being priced out of the local housing market, self-build is the only way the pair can afford to get on the housing ladder. After firing their architect, Jack took the planning and design into his own hand and designed a house that would complement his existing skillset, including materials and processes that he can DIY himself, in order to save money.
James and Shannon, are also young, aged 24 and 27. James, a quantity surveyor and Shannon, an administrator, live in a small new build house on a uniform estate in Coventry. They dream of living in the countryside and despite their urban surroundings, the pair keep chickens .

Source : Property wire

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