A £2.5million pilot scheme offering self-builders the chance to apply for a mortgage through their local authority with just a five per cent deposit has gone live in north Oxfordshire.

People with a local connection to Cherwell can apply for the mortgage through the scheme launched by Cherwell District Council.

It is part of plans for the UK's biggest self-build site currently under construction at Graven Hill.

Cherwell District Council assistant director for finance and procurement Kelly Watson said: “Having purchased Graven Hill and established the Graven Hill Village Development Company to deliver this pioneering project, launching this accessible mortgage scheme seemed like the next natural progression.

"At Cherwell we pride ourselves on exploring new and innovative solutions to help people realise their dream home and are willing to take proactive steps such as this to achieve that.

"We are working with a panel of lenders to indemnify up to 20 per cent of each mortgage which means borrowers only need a five per cent deposit.

"This opportunity will make the dream of a self-build home a reality for many people who have previously found the initial upfront costs to be too challenging."

The scheme will be available to up to five applicants who currently have a local connection to Cherwell through their home, work or relatives.

Anyone interested in the pilot scheme is asked to apply via cherwell.gov.uk/selfbuildmortgage or by emailing selfbuild.mortgage@cherwell-dc.gov.uk by Friday, May 11.