K1 December Press Release

K1 – Cambridge’s first cohousing project submits outline planning application

Cambridge Cohousing Limited has reached a milestone in the proposed development of the K1 site at Orchard Park North Cambridge. The application for outline planning consent was submitted on 11th November. For full details and visuals see here. In addition the group held a well attended Developers Open Afternoon on 4th December (see attached advert in Building) where CCL was complemented on their well put together application and cohesive group approach to the development.

Developed over eighteen months of collaborative work between the K1 members – the project’s aspiring homeowners – with support from Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR), Instinctively Green and C20 Future Planners as well as Cambridge City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, their vision is to “design and build a beautiful place to live, to the highest sustainability standards, and in the process build a strong and cohesive community”.

The site will be designed so that every house gains the optimum levels of light and sunshine whilst at the same time blocking noise from the A14 and Kings Hedges Road which define the boundaries of the site in Orchard Park. Built to Passivhaus standards, the houses and flats will be energy efficient, warm, comfortable and quiet all year round, due to triple glazed windows and high levels of insulation.

Using a creative consensus decision making process, K1 members want to achieve an environment where neighbours know each other, work together to create social opportunities and lives that are sociable and child friendly, through the inclusion of car free areas, communal gardens and a Common House.

This is the basis of cohousing, a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents who also share activities such as cooking, dining, child care, even gardening, all part of an effort to create an old-fashioned sense of community and to provide social, economic and environmental benefits.Each household will have their own energy efficient home and private space, but will spend time with each other as a community on a regular basis. The design will incorporate lifetime homes standards, so properties can be adapted to grow with them, rather than families growing out of space. Their hope is to achieve a less transient population, and help foster a strong and happy community both at K1 and in Orchard Park itself. An important part of the members vision will be the sharing of resources. They intend to establish a car pool, swap skills and share resources to create a more sustainable living environment. The group has a huge diversity of skills, so there should always be an ‘expert’ on hand; someone who knows how to fix a computer, put up shelves, maintain bikes or paint a kitchen!

The group all differ in ages, with young families, couples and single people, both working and retired. “We hope our neighbours will become like a second or extended family, people we can trust and rely on” says Jan Chadwick, a group member who will move from Cheshire with her family to join the group.

Anyone interested in the scheme can access the website at http://www.cambridge-k1.co.uk for further information.

For further information, contact:

Jan Chadwick               Email: janchadwick52@gmail.com
Lautaro Vargas             Email: latvargas@hotmail.com

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