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Chapeltown Cohousing, Leeds

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We want to build an affordable and diverse cohousing scheme right here in our own neighbourhood - an area that ranks high in the deprivation statistics but has a rich and enduring appeal.

We want to create cohousing that is:

  • Inclusive and open minded – actively participating in the local community.
  • Sharing and supportive – helping each other to create a great community, with common facilities like the common house, car-sharing, a laundry, and food-growing space.
  • Personal / private – each person/family has their own front door and private space but also benefits from shared space and shared resources.
  • Diverse – includes a wide range of people, for example of different ages, backgrounds and incomes. We want it to include affordable housing.
  • Environmentally friendly – supporting and promoting sustainable living. Homes built with good insulation, with eco/green features.
  • Empowering – each member having an equal say in decisions and in the ownership of shared resources and facilities.


Update – 5/12/16

Our community is growing in numbers, strength and diversity. We have no doubt that all our units will be filled and we are starting to turn people away. We are also pleased to see how our membership is starting to reflect the diversity of the Chapeltown area and includes a great mix of ages.

Our designs are looking great. We’ve even built a 3D model that sits in the middle of the room when we hold our meetings. We’ve enjoyed thinking about what goes inside our shared spaces such as communal eating space and guest rooms. We are now starting to grow our ideas for outside including planning for local community involvement.

Our site has already transformed. The demolition is complete and there is now a blank canvas ready for our dreams to take shape. The Council are offering an exclusivity agreement that guarantees they won’t be selling the land to anyone else. This has now been signed and we have 6 – 12 months to complete our detailed designs, apply for planning permission, raise the finance, etc.

Our timetable is getting clearer. By Christmas we hope to have everything in place to begin on the next stage – obtaining full planning permission, completing the site purchase and appointing the contractor who will build our homes.

Our finance model is complete. We have won £55,000 in grants to help obtain planning permission, we expect over £2 million from capital sales and grants towards shared ownership, we have at least four good options for development loans and we already have over £400,000 towards our target of £600,000 in loanstock offers. A key part of our financial model is to create affordable homes for local people. We’re pleased that around two-thirds of our members will be from the local area and that we can offer rented accommodation at a level that those on benefits or low incomes should be able to afford. We are also able to offer shared ownership so that people without much capital can still have a share in the value of their own home.

Our Ethical Investment offer is still running, so please encourage people or organisations you know to visit our website.

This is the main project planning stage: acquiring the site, gaining planning permission, finding funding and tendering with a contractor. This stage concludes with signing off funding and moving on-site to start the construction works.
Regular Events: 
Get-to-know-us meeting, everybody welcome : ) 6.30pm on the last Friday of every month. There'll be (at least) soup and bread - and if you want something more exotic, feel free to bring it! Call / text 07474 873 791 for venue.
Contact Details: 
Email or call Bill Phelps on 07474 873791
Materials and Documents: 
Introductory leaflet1.42 MB

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