Halton, a village on the River Lune just north of Lancaster has a thriving community centre and the Mill, both offering a wide range of activities for local residents. There is already a multi-generational co-housing community in Halton and now senior co-housing is being developed.
For those who have never heard of co-housing, these communities are developed and run by the residents themselves. Interested people create a constitution and become a registered group for financial transactions. They choose an architect and start designing where and how they want to live.
Each household is a private home but they have the added benefit of shared community space. Residents are free to socialize and share meals in the communal living/dining rooms. There is no need for each house to maintain their own laundry facilities or guest rooms as these are available in the “common house”.
For the over 55’s, senior co-housing offers the security of knowing your neighbours and keeping active for as long as possible. If and when the time comes that several residents feel they need more support, the cost of carers might be shared. Other options would be discussed by the whole community to find the best solution. Meanwhile there is plenty of opportunity for shared activities like going for walks, watching films, gardening, and shopping.
Interested members of the new senior community in Halton have met with Ecoarc of Kentmere, the appointed architects, on two occasions to begin the design process. Everyone is keen to be as environmentally friendly as possible and it was agreed to build to Passiv House standards. (Eden Insulation in Appleby are the local suppliers). This means they will be warm and dry, with fresh air circulated several times a day and utility bills will be minimized by the efficiency of this system. There is also the possibility of linking in with the hydro-electric project on the Lune and the wood pellet heating boiler in the Mill, already serving Lancaster Co-housing. It is planned for all homes to be lifetime standard. That means doors are wide enough for wheel chairs and adaptations can be easily put into place if needed, if residents become disabled as they age. The group, assisted by Ecoarc, looked at how many homes will fit comfortably on the land selected allowing for communal garden space and the common house.
The layout will consist of 12 one bed flats, 4 two bed flats, and 4 two bed houses. There will be design workshops in the future to talk about the exterior design and the common house. The photos shown are of the nearby Lancaster Co-housing. The group has received a grant aimed at supporting community led housing schemes to help them get started. It is hoped that further funding will support affordable housing within the project.
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