Project name Shaldon Road
Lead partner Bristol Community Land Trust
County City and County of Bristol
Plans are being drawn up by architects Architype in conjunction with a steering group of local and future restidents for Bristol Community Land Trust’s (BCLT) Shaldon Road site. The cohousing development will include six custom build plots and fifteen one-, two- and three-bedroom self finish apartments. Previously allotments, the overgrown backland site has a wooded setting, elements of which will be incorporated into the finished design.
The shell model has been chosen by BCLT to enable them to build to Passivhaus standard using offsite technology. The watertight shell stage also allows for as much self finish by future residents as possible, which in turn keeps the homes as affordable as possible, in keeping with BCLT’s ethos.
The community trust’s vision for the site includes a co-housing community element, potentially with a shared laundry and a guest bedroom block or communal building. The site, which will have a mix of tenure as well as house types, will be car free, with a parking area at the side, with communal external spaces. The scheme is set for completion in early 2018.
Cohousing should be a signpost for future development across the UK, as it has so much to offer on both a local and personal level. This type of development requires a time and energy commitment, especially as the projects often require sweat equity in return for savings, which can be a drawback.
However, this commitment also means that people have a real stake in the development. Often, by the time they move in, the community is already in place, and people tend to stay in these homes longer as they’ve been tailored to their needs.
Above all, the affordability cohousing offers should ensure that this model becomes more widely recognised. And yet, we still don’t see enough of them. Councils and Government should put more measures in place to support his model.