Lancaster gives go-ahead for groundbreaking eco-homes

By staff writers
31 Jul 2010

Members of a local community group in Lancaster are celebrating after receiving planning permission to develop 40 new eco-homes, as well as shared indoor and outdoor space and managed business space.

The group, Lancaster Cohousing, say that their aim is to build eco-homes of a cutting edge sustainable design and create a friendly, supportive neighbourhood. They describe themselves a as a mix of individuals, couples and families of all ages.

Lancaster County Council have given them permission to redevelop a 2.5 hectare derelict site by the River Lune at Halton, near Lancaster.

The one-bedroom flats, and two and three-bedroom terraced houses, will be built to the super-insulated Passivhaus standard and will form the largest Passivhaus development in the UK. The group say that together with the hydro scheme being developed with the local community, this design will ensure a very low carbon footprint.

Each household will have its own home and there will also be shared facilities, including a laundry, child care area and workshops. There will also be a common house, where residents can, if they wish, cook and eat together.

Lancaster Cohousing says that this mix will ensure residents have their own space whilst encouraging social contact, enabling them to build connections with their neighbours.

Meanwhile, the derelict factory building on site, covering an area of 1,200 square metres, is to be refurbished to provide a mixture of serviced workshops, offices and studios for small businesses, organisations and individuals. A local and personal management service is planned, as well as shared facilities and a zero-carbon energy supply. The group say that these will be available on flexible terms.

“This is a really important milestone for us,” said the Project Manager, Jon Sear, “It means we can now start the detailed design work, get the necessary funding agreements in place and appoint a building contractor to work with us”.

He added, “If people wish to join the project, there are still homes available to buy and business units to rent”.

Construction on the site is expected to begin early next year, aiming for completion of 34 of the 40 homes by spring 2012.

[Ekk/1]

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