Cambridge Cohousing Attracts New Members
Cambridge Cohousing held a successful open evening on 30 July in Orchard Park Community Centre, where a roomful of people interested in cohousing heard about the plans for K1 Orchard Park, Cambridge’s first cohousing neighbourhood.
Due to the interest in the scheme, another open event will be held on 5 September (in the afternoon, at the same venue). Further details will be posted at www.cambridge-k1.co.uk.
The open evening saw presentations from Cambridge Cohousing, the City Council, developer TOWNHUS and Mole Architects. The speakers outlined the ideas behind cohousing and revealed the latest designs for the site.
The ideas had started with a small of group of local people who came together several years ago with the ambition to create a place to live where neighbourliness and community spirit are intrinsic.
Dave Prinsep from Cambridge City Council, which has long backed the idea of a cohousing development on the site, said:
“At that time the council had been planning on selling the land concerned for development then in the midst of the economic downturn the transaction fell through. I’m delighted that years later after hard work on all sides, this unused plot now has an exciting future as K1, the city’s first cohousing community.”
“When the council first spoke to Cambridge Cohousing, their enthusiasm and knowledge were plain to see, but they were a very small group. The council recognised the potential but also needed to see the likely reach of a cohousing scheme, so we gave this core group the challenge of widening their membership base, which they have successfully done.”
Jan Chadwick, a member and a director of Cambridge Cohousing, said:
“The stage we’ve reached is a real milestone. We’ve now got a significant number of cohousing members committed to taking the plans for K1 forward into detailed design. Speaking personally, I can’t wait to start living in our new community, hopefully by the end of 2016, which is the target date for completion.”
Andrew Clark, a member of Cambridge Cohousing for about a year, said:
“One simple benefit that appeals to me is pooling resources – a key idea behind cohousing. This doesn’t refer to finances, which remain everyone’s own business, but to tools and equipment. It won’t be necessary for each household to have its own shedful of DIY tools because we’ll have a communal ‘toolkit’ for all to use. It’s a much more environmentally sensitive and less wasteful way to live – and means a lot less stuff cluttering up my home!”
Another innovative aspect of the project is the partnership between UK developer TOWN, and Swedish manufacturer Trivselhus, which will provide the ClimateShield closed panel construction system to create a high performance, timber frame ‘envelope’ for each home.
The slow-grown timber comes from responsibly managed forests in Sweden, supplied by the Södra cooperative, which owns Trivselhus.
The synergy between developer, manufacturer and growers of the timber is in keeping with an ethos of responsible sourcing, environmental stewardship and social enterprise – all core values of this cohousing scheme.