Lancaster Co-Housing

Lancaster Co-Housing started construction in 2011 and at the time of writing have just one flat remaining available for sale. (Though I would guess they started planning 5 or 6 years before this) This ambitious project seems to have it all – hydro electric, solar heat and photovoltaic, a district heating wood chip boiler, mechanical heat recovery and extremely high levels of insulation and air-tightness.

“We plan to create an intergenerational cohousing community at Forge Bank, Halton that will encourage social interaction and will be built on ecological values. It will include around 25 homes with community facilities and workshop/office space. We will seek to enable sustainable travel to central Lancaster so that residents have easy access to amenities that are not available in Halton village”

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I have also just been told they are having an ‘open day’ of sorts on the 10th September – pass the word on if you know a northerner! Here’s the flyer for download. The event is free but you do have to register.

‘Co-housing’ is a form of development that generally makes use of shared facilities, such as communal areas, kitchens, laundry rooms and offices/workspaces. However, the main driver behind this is that the community living, or planning to live there have largely driven and had control of the whole process from design to management. We could (and should) do a whole post about this in future… for now, back to Lancaster!

In particular, have a good nosy around their Residents Handbook page. This links to various policies regarding food, communal areas, car owneship and pets. I think it gives a good sense of that eternal challenge between balancing individual freedoms and the wider community.

Check out this quick intro video too:

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