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Cannock Mill Cohousing

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Our cohousing community values:

  • Good neighbourliness - supporting each other within the cohousing community and making a positive contribution to the social, economic and cultural life of our locality.
  • Active ageing - encouraging participation in social life, health and independence.
  • Eco awareness - exemplified in the low energy design of our homes, shared resources and resource preservation.

Who are we?

  • Committed to the cohousing ethos of shared activities, pragmatism, respect, mutual support and joie de vivre.
  • Mostly in our 50s and 60s, from all walks of life, some retired but all very actively involved with multiple interests.

What are we building?

  • An eco-cohousing community with independent homes and a water mill as our common house, on the edge of Colchester
  • A community based on shared governance, consensus decision making but majority voting in exceptional situations
  • Individual homes, from 1-bedroom flats to 3-bedroom houses with garage, built according to the following standards:
  • Passivhaus - homes are built with extra insulation to minimise heating, and therefore costs
  • Lifetime Homes - homes are designed to adapt easily to lifetime changes due to ageing
  • Eco-efficiency lifestyle - electrical car pool, recycling, communal allotment as main examples.

View across the swimming pond to the common house and flats

Our values:

  • We encourage and practice the principles of equality, inclusion, diversity and democracy
  • We do not have, as a community, any religious, spiritual or political ideology, but do try to be aware of the impact our activities have on the environment and our neighbours. We respect and facilitate our members’ interests and lifestyle choices.
  • We expect all members to participate in the project on an equitable basis. We rotate administrative tasks, we encourage every member to belong to at least one committee and be active during board meetings. No member should feel excluded from participating in decisions that impinge on their household or involve the organisation of the shared facilities and no member should feel overwhelmed by responsibilities.


We are building 23 homes, from flats to 3-bedroom houses with garage; 5 homes are still unallocated (as at Feb 2017).

At the beginning of December 2016, our contractor started on the ground works which will prepare the site for the main construction work to start early in 2017.

The cleared mill pond which will become our swimming pool!

Our common house, the heart of the community, is our lovely Grade II listed timber-framed mill building. This extends over three floors, and provides the perfect location for the many activities that will take place once we move into our new homes during 2018. Prior to that date, we are going to carry out a major refurbishment of the building, to ensure we make the most of the spaces available, whilst maintaining the historic charm of the building.

Over the last two years, we have used the mill regularly for our monthly board meetings and a number of social events. We have spent a lot of time and energy discussing options for its future use, guided by our architect, Anne Thorne.

On the ground floor we will have a small admin office, some workshops and two guest rooms, with associated bathrooms. Many of us will be ‘downsizing’ from our existing family homes and the guest bedroom should come in very handy.

The mill – our common house

The middle floor, with direct access to the terrace over the pond, will be dedicated to the kitchen and dining room where we will be sharing meals on a regular basis.

This large room will be a great place to organise social activities or just relax in comfortable togetherness.

Contact Details: 

For membership email

For general enquiries email

The mill before ground clearing works began

Construction work is being carried out on-site through to building completion. This stage concludes when all outstanding permissions and development requirements are also complete, or at the stage when members can move in.
Regular Events: 
• Monthly Board meeting open to all members, associate members, and guests (after a preliminary period, see below) • Monthly meetings for subgroup such as Finance, Building, communication or executive. • Yearly AGM lasting a full weekend If you may be interested in joining us we have a structured programme so that you can get to know us, and us to know you, over a suitably long period before any decision has to be taken. You may be interested in seeing a questionnaire that we have asked existing and prospective members to complete. It focuses on issues around cohousing and our project. This can be downloaded from our website. You can also contact our membership group:

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