What binds us are shared values and aims and a desire to control our futures.
We aim to keep our carbon footprint as light as possible. There are two fundamental reasons for this: firstly, we care about the environment and wish to leave planet Earth intact for our children and grandchildren; secondly, we don’t want to be paying high energy bills. For our diverse community, we welcome potential members who share our values and our aims.
Our goal is to create a cohousing community that embodies the following values:
- Good neighbourliness – in supporting each other within the cohousing community and in making a positive contribution to the social, economic and cultural life of our locality, Old Heath, Colchester and the surrounding area.
- Active ageing – as a way of encouraging participation, health, independence and environmental awareness.
- Eco-awareness – embodied in low energy design, sharing of resources and more integrated living arrangements.
We support the principles of equality, inclusion, diversity and democracy. We want a diverse and lively community that respects differences and resolves difficulties in a democratic and sympathetic way.
We do not have any particular religious, spiritual or political ideology as a group, but we do try to be aware of the impact our activities have on the environment and our neighbours. Our approach is generally pragmatic and concerned with making our cohousing project work. We want all members to participate in the project on an equitable basis. No member should feel excluded from participating in decisions that impinge on their household or involve the organisation of the shared facilities.
We are developing a community of 23 homes (in phase one), designed and built to ‘Passivhaus‘ standards to achieve exceptionally low running costs, and sustainable comfort and health. The design team is being led by one of our members, Anne Thorne, an award-winning eco-architect. Part of the development will be shared space for a range of social and domestic activities, and a base for community events. At our Cannock Mill site, the old listed Mill building is ideal as our social hub. In the second phase of development, we aim to convert Cannock Mill House to a further three flats.
We aim to share resources (cars, guest rooms, bikes, equipment, etc) and to grow as much of our own produce as possible.
We want our community to develop by consensus, and for people to feel mutually cared for as they get older, both by community members and through the shared provision of care, if and when this is required.
We intend to become part of the existing local community, to contribute to local life and do things that enable local people to take part in our activities.