Case Studies

The full case studies to accompany these examples can be found at Over the coming months we will be updating our range of case studies and migrating them to this website.

Graven Hill, Bicester image
Graven Hill, Bicester

Up to 1,900 new private homebuilding opportunities will be created on the outskirts of Bicester on the former Ministry of Defence (MoD) Graven Hill site. The project is one of the largest and most ambitious schemes of its type in Europe

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How Shropshire’s Exception Site Policy Delivers Affordable Privately Built Homeses precious image
How Shropshire’s Exception Site Policy Delivers Affordable Privately Built Homeses precious

Shropshire’s Single Plot Exception Sites policy permits individual modestly-sized homes on sites that would not secure planning permission for open market housing, provided the household is in housing need, has a strong local connection and a need to live locally. The policy is currently delivering 25 to 30 properties a year – roughly 15 per cent of the county’s current average affordable housing provision

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56-64 Blenheim Grove, London image
56-64 Blenheim Grove, London

A custom build developer is delivering five ‘self finish’ terraced homes with financial support from the Greater London Authority. The properties are designed to allow the occupiers to complete the interiors as they wish. The homes should also deliver better value. The project was initiated by a group of local residents who approached the developer to help them. Completion is scheduled for late in 2016

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Broadhempston Clt, Devon image
Broadhempston Clt, Devon

The drainage, slab and basic timber shell for these six homes was constructed by contractors, with the homes being roofed, clad externally and fully fitted out by a group of local people who all committed to work at least 20 hours a week. The land was acquired at agricultural values, and is now owned by a Community Land Trust. The all-up cost of each home is around £140,000 (about one third of equivalent sized homes in the village)

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Third Sector Private Homebuilding Projects image
Third Sector Private Homebuilding Projects

It is challenging to deliver self-build homes that are genuinely classified as ‘affordable’. One way to do it is by working in partnership with organisations like housing associations, the Community Self Build Agency, charities, trusts and similar organisations. This case study examines initiatives from Belgium and the USA plus three recent UK projects – from London, Liverpool and Bristol

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Serviced Plots At Penkhull, Stoke-On-Trent image
Serviced Plots At Penkhull, Stoke-On-Trent

This council-led initiative provided serviced building plots to attract wealth creators to the area. Six plots were delivered in this pilot scheme, and three further developments are now in the pipeline. The plots were sold at an average price of £98,500, and there was strong demand. Most of the homes are now complete and occupied

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Duneland Ecovillage, Scotland image
Duneland Ecovillage, Scotland

The cohousing project is a good example of cost effective collective custom building. It provides 25 attractive eco-homes, plus ten serviced building plots, and a terrace of six homes. A later phase will deliver eight affordable apartments

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Beauly, Scottish Highlands image
Beauly, Scottish Highlands

The development at Beauly features ten self-built affordable homes enabled by the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT). The Trust has, for many years, provided serviced self-build plots to low-income households in rural areas across the North of Scotland.

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Nieuw Leyden, Leiden image
Nieuw Leyden, Leiden

Around 700 homes have been built on a redundant central site in the heart of Leiden, in the Netherlands. The project was delivered by a successful partnership between the city council and a housing association. The new homes were built quickly and generated a good return for the partnership

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Continental Refurbishment Projects image
Continental Refurbishment Projects

In Germany and the Netherlands many redundant buildings have been converted to housing –reasonably priced ‘shells’ are sold that people can ‘self refurb’ themselves. For example in The Hague a large office building is currently being transformed into 67 new homes, and in the Netherlands redundant police stations have been converted to homes via self refurb. This case study looks at three self refurb projects that involve former school buildings

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