Buildings for our community
We are building 23 new homes, a mixture of one and two-bedroom flats and 17 two and three-bedroom houses, some with garages.
We love the architectural and ecological quality of the designs and how they make the best use of the Mill, its pond and the setting in the Bourne valley. The houses will have living green roofs. The homes are being built in timber frame cassettes with recycled newspaper insulation. Flooring is in renewable bamboo and bespoke kitchens avoid MDF. Outside they will be finished with ‘self-coloured’ lime render in different natural mineral colours, so will not require repainting. They are designed to Lifetime Homes space standards, to provide accessible and adaptable homes of the future.
Our new buildings are designed to achieve the externally recognised Passivhaus Standard. Still relatively rare in the UK, these ultra-low energy construction standards, such as triple glazing, cut heating costs dramatically and provide unparalleled levels of quiet comfort (in technical terms we expect energy use under 15 kiloWatt hours annually per square meter of floor space). We have planning permission (subject to conditions) to convert Cannock Mill House to flats and for this, we will be working to achieve our low-energy objectives within the constraints of a listed Victorian building (we are aiming towards the EnerPHit Standard).
We won a award for 2019 ‘Best Community or Group Self Build Project’.
Our common house
The physical focus of our cohousing project is the common house. In Cannock Mill itself (dating from 1611), we have a fantastic existing base for all our common house activities.
Its renovation gives us well-thought-out spaces: a professionally planned kitchen opening into a flexible dining room / meeting room; a comfortable sitting room / library, which might get cleared for dancing! On the ground floor will be guest bedrooms (helpful for those who are downsizing but still need extra space for visitors) and workshops. Some of our members are even looking forward to the restored mill pond being suitable for ‘wild swimming’. Read more about this in one of our blogs.