This week Kevin McCloud returned to the Hedgehog Project in Brighton on Grand Designs and showed how that housing co-operative has moved on from being an innovative self-build to building roots in the community – reflecting our experience here at Hockerton Housing Project.
We are hoping that the planners at Newark and Sherwood will have been watching, as a plan for a new self-build partnership in Hockerton is now under consideration. The plan is to demolish a redundant industrial building and replace it with five two-storey homes (up to 3 bedrooms) and two one-storey, one bed homes.
Hockerton Housing Project is supportive of the plans for a number of reasons:
- The energy efficient design will deliver 80% less carbon and 60% lower running cost than homes built to today’s minimum standards.
- Each dwelling will have a share in Hockerton’s community-owned wind turbine to ‘offset’ the carbon content of remaining energy use.
- Rainwater harvesting and water efficient appliances will limit demand for mains water, and a reedbed will be used to avoid nasty odours from sewage.
- Affordable housing allows people with a wider range of skills and expertise to live in rural areas.
- The co-operative nature of the development, both in its build and its maintenance, means pride will be taken in the quality of the work on buildings and landscaping.
- The more people resident in the village, the better for local businesses such as the farm shop, the pub, restaurant and ice-cream parlour.
Self-build partnerships are rare, but offer many benefits, so let’s hope the planning officials see the merit of putting brownfield land to better use as a site for new affordable homes in Hockerton, further strengthening the village’s reputation as a hub of innovative and affordable energy efficient homes.
If you are interested in understanding how we developed our self-build at Hockerton Housing Project, and how the co-operative works in practice, make a new year’s resolution to come on one of our Sustainable Living Tours – the next one is 19 January 2013.