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Cohousing group plans for 7 homes in Staffordshire Moorlands

ctd architect’s client, Leek Cohousing group, have shared plans to build seven new homes comprising of five new dwellings and converting and extending existing buildings to create two more. The buildings will comprise of a mix of live-work, residential and shared cohousing facilities.

The site for the cohousing development is 1.66 hectares in size and lies on the outskirts of Blackshaw Moor village. The site and adjoining land are part of an old British Army camp, formerly known as the Anzio camp, originally comprising of four camps. Camps one, two and four have been developed or have planning applications with camp three being the final camp to have plans submitted.

The proposal is for a sustainable cohousing development, involving the erection of new self-build eco-homes including three with live-work opportunities and for the conversion of four existing Camp buildings to provide two residential units and a range of cohousing shared facilities, comprising a common house with meeting, dining, kitchen and storage facilities, laundry, food co-op pantry, shared workshop, craft studio, heritage exhibition space, and three bedrooms for visitors.

The new build dwellings will be designed as primarily single storey, with first floor accommodation limited to some use of roof space in the dwellings, located on the lower western part of the site. All five new build dwellings will be sited on or very close to ground previously occupied by Army Camp buildings. All will be located along the south and west part of the site to the rear of the existing buildings when viewed from Thorncliffe Lane, so will have minimal visual impact on the landscape.

The Leek Cohousing group aim is to create a small development of sustainable, environmentally friendly homes that members purchase at cost price with communal facilities such as a common house, visitor accommodation, workshops and gardens.

Modern cohousing originated in Denmark in the 1960’s, with hundreds of communities across northern Europe the United States of America, with communities in Australia and Canada. Cohousing started to develop in the UK at the end of the 1990s. The movement has gradually built up momentum and there are now 14 purpose built cohousing communities. A further 40+ cohousing groups are developing projects and new groups are forming all the time.

A public consultation on Leek Cohousing’s plan for Camp Three has taken place with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council set to make a decision on the application early in 2019.