With six months to go before building starts on K1 Cohousing at Orchard Park, Cambridge, more than half of the homes have already been reserved for sale.
An open afternoon will be held on 9th July between 3pm and 5pm at Orchard Park Community Centre.
Since K1 Cohousing was launched, 24 households have already signed up to be among the first purchasers at Cambridge’s first cohousing scheme. Although many are from Cambridge, others have come from further afield to be part of the K1 Cohousing development – from as far apart as Cheshire and London.
“K1 Cohousing is going to offer a totally different way of living”
Jan Chadwick, who with husband Ian has her moved from Cheshire to buy a home at K1 Cohousing, explained why she had decided to make the move:
“K1 Cohousing is going to offer a totally different way of living that just can’t be found elsewhere. Knowing more than your immediate neighbours is so important to us, as are the practical benefits of sharing meals, spare rooms for guests, and a laundry in the common house. It means we can have more space at home, with great facilities close to hand!”
Jan and many other purchasers have been involved in K1 Cohousing since it began in 2013. They have been able to play an active role in helping to plan the neighbourhood. They worked initially with landowner Cambridge City Council and then with TOWNhus, the appointed developer, a partnerhship between UK development company TOWN and Swedish house builder Trivselhus. They have been involved in all aspects of the scheme’s design, leading to detailed planning permission being obtained in April this year.
“Residents will enjoy low energy bills”
Member Ian Collins, who leads liaison with the developer team, says: “It has been a truly collaborative process built around the common goal of a distinctive, sustainable development. With triple glazing, high levels of thermal insulation and renewable energy, every resident will enjoy low energy bills, and in most cases Lifetime Homes standards.”
“We like the idea of living in a closer community”
Other purchasers have joined more recently. Newest member Tom Maddox explains what attracted him to become part of K1: “We like the idea of being in a closer community – we loved living in a set of family flats around a shared play area and other facilities at Churchill College. We also lived for ten years in Indonesia, where my wife is from. There, communities are much more engaged than they are in the UK and my wife expects life at K1 to be more like the sort of community she lived in while growing up.”
For other purchasers, the unique community facilities offered at K1 are part of the draw. Hester Wells explains: “The Common House is a shared facility with flexible space for everyone living at K1 to use, whether for a gathering with friends, an exercise class, or for residents to eat a meal together. It’ll include a decent kitchen and laundry room for anyone not wishing to have a washing machine of their own.”
“I’m looking forward to growing my own food”
Anne Dorber, a keen gardener, is particularly looking forward to making use of the shared garden. “The garden is an extra bit of outdoor space for K1 residents to use. I’m looking forward to growing my own food there; other families with kids love the fact that it will be a place their children can play together in a natural setting and away from busy streets.”
There are still several properties available to purchase at K1 Cohousing, and Cambridge Cohousing is inviting people to find out more about whether this is the place for their next move.
TOWN Director Jonny Anstead explained what’s involved in buying a home at K1:
“Buying a home at K1 Cohousing is much like buying a home anywhere else. Homes are self-contained, and come complete with everything you’d expect to find in a regular home. They’re privately owned – it’s not about creating a commune – and homes will have their own private garden or balcony. But as a K1 resident, you’ll also benefit from the additional features of the development – the common house, shared garden and workshop. All this means that K1 will be a closer community than most new developments. It’s ideal for people who like the idea of knowing their neighbours, and who are prepared to get involved in community life.”
For anyone interested in purchasing a home at K1, the first step is to find out more about joining Cambridge Cohousing. The next open afternoon will be held on 9th July between 3pm and 5pm at Orchard Park Community Centre. There will, be detailed information provided on what cohousing and K1 are all about, plus the opportunity to meet and quiz the group.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cohousing: created and run by their residents, cohousing developments are communities where people not only know their neighbours, but actively manage their neighbourhood alongside them. Small enough that everyone can be familiar with each other, but large enough not to force them to be, cohousing communities are built around a shared desire for a sense of belonging, neighbourliness and mutual support that many people feel is missing from modern life and contemporary housing developments. For more information see http://cohousing.org.uk/
Cambridge Cohousing Limited (http://www.cambridge-k1.co.uk) is a company formed by future residents of K1. All residents will be members of the cohousing company, which will be the eventual freeholder of the development.
The development is being undertaken by TOWNhus, a partnership between UK developer TOWN (www.wearetown.co.uk) and Swedish developer Trivselhus (www.trivselhus.se). TOWNhus was appointed as preferred development partner by site owner Cambridge City Council in June 2015 for K1. K1 will employ the TOWN Custom Build model to allow purchasers to configure their homes.
K1 will contribute two additional affordable homes built to the same high standards as the rest of the development.
The scheme will be built to close to Passivhaus standards, exceeding the requirements of policy and making good on the K1 group’s commitment to sustainable development.
A full planning application (s/3223/15/FL) was approved subject to a Section 106 agreement by South Cambridgeshire District Council Planning Committee on 6th April 2016.
South Cambridgeshire District Council is one of 11 custom build vanguards nationally responsible for developing custom build housing models
Jonny Anstead (for TOWN): 07500 335315
Jan Chadwick (for Cambridge Cohousing Limited: 07986 107245)