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Green light for Essex co-housing scheme


An Anne Thorne Architects-designed co-housing development has won planning permission in Essex, becoming the latest example of a growing trend for community-led development

The 23-home Passivhaus scheme is earmarked for a site at Cannock Mill, in Colchester. Under the proposals, the grade II-listed mill will be renovated for use as a ‘common house’ for residents to eat and socialise in, when they choose to do so.

Developer Cannock Mill Co-housing Group said the scheme, which will include a shared garden area as well as individual private gardens for its 17 houses, would be one of the largest Passivhaus developments in the county.

The project will also include a block of six flats connected to the mill building by a lift. The two- and three-storey houses will be built in a single terrace.

Scheme architect Thorne, who is also a member of the co-housing group, said the development would respect the existing mill and a separate Victorian house, as well as improve the 0.9 hectare site’s environmental issues.

“Renovation of the mill pond itself is part of the solution to the site’s difficult ground water conditions,’ she said.

‘The new build flats and houses will be to the highest Passivhaus eco standards and to Lifetime Homes standards making them long-term housing for all.’

The scheme’s development cost is estimated at £6-8 million.

Site sketch of Cannock Mill

Site sketch of the Cannock Mill co-housing development in Colchester, Essex


Readers' comments (3)

  • So great to hear about new cohousing communities popping up all over the globe! For more information about cohousing (including project examples and pointers on how to start your own cohousing community) check out the book Creating Cohousing by Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant, the couple who coined the term cohousing when they brought the idea to the U.S. from Denmark, at your local library or online.

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  • Yes, its is great to see! Such innovative solutions are possible through the collaborative process of co-housing communities. In addition to professionals, national organizations such as cohousing.org.UK and also in the US at cohousing.org are great for additional resources.

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  • good. beautiful drawings too... not a sketch up man with cap in sight

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