An informal cohousing group was first established in 2013 to develop the K1 site in Orchard Park, Cambridge – currently owned by Cambridge City Council – into a 42 home cohousing scheme. K1 achieved planning permission from South Cambridgeshire District Council in early 2016, and it is intended that it will go on site later in 2016 with completion due in 2017. It will include a range of homes, from one bedroomed flats to five bedroomed houses together with a large shared garden and a common house.
The scheme was initiated by Cambridge City Council, who wanted to test the interest from local people seeking to develop a cohousing scheme. The Council provided funds for the initial project management support provided by Adam Broadway of Instinctively Green, which then enabled the group to apply for revenue funding from the Homes & Communities Agency, leading to Cambridge Cohousing registering as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2014. Together, Cambridge Cohousing and Cambridge Council chose to work with TOWNhus, a partnership between UK developer TOWN, Swedish housebuilder Trivselhus,and their design team Mole Architects, to prepare detailed plans and deliver the scheme.
All K1 households will become members of Cambridge Cohousing who will own the freehold of the site and will grant a long lease to each household. Consideration is being given to also enabling the development of some affordable rented homes within the development.
After years of hard work, our members are looking forward to seeing the scheme built over the next 18 months – and to attracting more members to join us and live here.
Jan Chadwick – Cambridge Cohousing
Co-housing has an important role to play in meeting housing needs in a new way – not only by helping people shape the places they live in, but also in reinstating the sense of community and neighbourliness that is often missing in new developments.
Jonny Anstead – director, Townhus
There is a growing expectation on councils to enable and support custom-build and cohousing groups so it’s fantastic that Cambridge City Council is using such innovative methods to deliver housing by facilitating this development.
Cllr George Owers – Cambridge City Council