Graven Hill residents benefit from community house project

A pioneering initiative helping the first residents of new housing developments to form a sense of community, has been rolled out in Graven Hill.

Published: Tuesday, 25th August 2020

Following the successful model in Elmsbrook, North West Bicester, a new community house is now available for residents at Graven Hill, as a meeting place for neighbours whilst the site continues to grow.


The two-storey, end of terrace home has been provided by Bromford Housing Association in partnership with Cherwell District Council and Graven Hill Village Development Company, responding to a desire from residents to have an early designated area for small meetings and gatherings.


Community First Oxfordshire has also employed a new community liaison officer for the site, to help new residents settle into their new surroundings.


Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “In times gone by, residents would have to wait until enough people had moved into a development before work began on a community hall.


“Learning from the example at Elmsbrook, Cherwell has recognised the importance of investing in community cohesion early on and has worked hard with our partners to provide a space at Graven Hill which neighbours can enjoy together.


"As Bicester Garden Town continues to grow, projects such as these are vital to make sure new households feel welcome and connected. I look forward to seeing a variety of local clubs and groups make use of the house over the coming years.”


The facility at 103 Graven Hill Road, was officially opened on Wednesday 19 August. To ensure the facility is COVID-secure, users are being advised to follow specific guidelines, including to use hand sanitiser when entering and exiting the building and limiting the number of people inside to maintain social distancing.


The community house has planning permission for three years whilst plans for a permanent community hall are established.