Thanks to Sam Goss our architect who did the drawings used on this website

Public talk: architect Sam Goss on Bridport Cohousing Thursday 22nd September

Thursday 22 September, 7.15 for 7.30, Bridport Town Hall. 

Alan and Sam the ManSam Goss is a partner of Barefoot Architects and is known to Open EcoHomes visitors as the architect of the Chalk Wall house in Dorchester and the planned cohousing in Bridport. He will give a talk on Bridport Community Cohousing, covering sustainability of housing and also the broader design process and evolution of the project from an architectural perspective. £4.00 or 4 NETS, less if you can’t afford it.

ITV News Feature.

We were on the telly! Thanks to Duncan Sleightholme who put together this news story for ITV.


We did it! Full planning permission granted today

Victory shot 500













Delighted to announce that today (Thursday Feb 11th)  we were granted full planning permission! This picture was taken outside the planning office.

This is the culmination of 7 years work by the group and 18 months of waiting for the planners to make a decision.

We’d like to thank our architect Sam Goss who had a tall order to satisfy both the needs and desires of the residents group and the planning requirements. Also our two consultants Alan Heeks and Charles Couzens who have kept the faith for all this time!

We are very grateful for  the substantial pre-development funding we received from the Homes and Communities Agency, and the support of the organisation Locality in this process as well as the funding from West Dorset District Council which, along with monies from members of Bridport Cohousing, made the application possible.
Most of all we want to thank the people of Bridport for all the wonderful local support for this community-led project.

We know theres still a way to go before we all move in but this is a huge milestone.

Finally – a date for the planning decision! Feb 11th


Well this is it – the moment we have been waiting for – for 18 months (yes really – 18 months!) – our planning application is up for a decision on Thursday February 11th. Fingers and toes crossed that they will see what a benefit this could be to the local community.

Its taken 7 years to get to this point so wish us well! We hope to be part of a movement towards many more new models of community led affordable housing projects. Will keep you posted re the result.

Informal Gathering at Symondsbury Kitchen

cakeIf you are considering whether Bridport Cohousing might be for you – the best way to start to get to know who we are and what we are up to is to come along to one of our  events.

The next one is on Sunday 15th November. It’s an informal gathering for tea and chat at Symondsbury Kitchen. 11am

Come and meet some of the people who are already involved and find out more about whats happening. Look out for a table with a Bridport Cohousing sign on it. We’ll have a cuppa and maybe a walk weather permitting. Check out our other events on our events page:

Amendment To Our Planning Application

West Dorset District Council is consulting on an amended description in our planning application

We have been asked by West Dorset District Council to amend the description of our planning application.  The reason for this is to do with the definition of affordable housing which is currently used by the council’s housing department.  This means that people living in Bridport who are in housing need would not be allowed to be allocated houses in the development.  This is the way in which the rural exception sites policy has to be applied, which uses a new Dorset wide housing allocation policy which was revised since our application was submitted.

This change in the allocation rules caused a problem for us, because the rules of Bridport Cohousing as a Community Land Trust and the Local Lettings Policy which were submitted with the planning application state that the housing that is be created is for the benefit of Allington Parish and Bridport and surrounding parishes.

So to get round this problem we have been asked to change the description and the application will be considered as a normal planning application where only 35% of the houses have to be affordable and they can be allocated according to need from both Bridport and Allington equally.

The allocation of the remaining houses can then be allocated according to the existing Local Lettings Policy of Bridport Cohousing and this can be guaranteed by the planning permission being granted with a legal agreement between the council and Bridport Cohousing called a Section 106 agreement.  In addition Bridport Cohousing is set up as a Community Benefit society and the rules say it must provide affordable housing for local people and this is guaranteed by the Financial Conduct Authority. A third safeguard is that the agreement to purchase the land is conditional on only providing affordable housing.  So there are three guarantees that we will provide affordable housing.

The survey which was carried out in February 2015 had responses from 55 households 47 or whom either lived in Bridport or Allington and are keen to be housed in the cohousing neighbourhood.   45 of the households were eligible for affordable shared ownership housing and 31 were either on the housing register or unable to afford to buy a house on the open market.  This survey confirms the high demand for affordable housing within a cohousing neighbourhood from people with a strong connection with Bridport and Allington.

You can see a summary of the online survey results here: Survey Results March 2015. In addition there were 12 paper forms submitted and data from these forms is included in the numbers quoted above.

CHC of Ecos Maclean

On Behalf of Bridport Cohousing.

21 May 2105

Cohousing Allotment Day Sunday May 3rd

gardening-july 2013Join us at the Bridport Cohousing allotment Garden 2 – 4.30pm – Come and meet some of us and enjoy a gentle afternoon’s shared work. If you can bring something to share for tea (not compulsory). Ring John Hinsley to find out more: 07919 065568 or email

New Survey: March 2015

survey Please note this survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who took part!

We are currently surveying people with a questionnaire designed to establish for the planners that there is a local need for this project.

Our survey is aimed primarily at people who either live in one of our three target areas (tier 1:Bridport area, tier 2: West Dorset and tier 3: Dorset)  but we also welcome people who live outside those areas but can demonstrate a local connection.

If you are potentially interested we would be very grateful if you could help us by filling in this survey. You can either download a paper version here (which you would have to fill in and post or scan and email to us): Survey of Housing Needs or follow this link for an online version. We need all replies in By March 23rd so this is fairly urgent!

March events



These informal events offer a chance to get to know abit more about the project from the people who are already involved. No need to book – just turn up. If you can’t make any of them and really want to make contact with the project – do get in touch as we can try and arrange someone to meet with you.



Sunday 1st – Cuppa & chat @ the Symondsbury kitchen (10.30 am)  followed by a walk up Colmers Hill  ( leaving about 11.15 am)

What will our houses look like?

   Monday 7th April there was an excited buzz in the air as we passed wood and brick samples round the room and Alan and Sam the Mandiscussed window sizes and outdoor space, orientation and garden sizes.

    Sam Goss, the architect designing our neighborhood, presented us with some of his ideas at a meeting in early April where almost all our member households were represented. We clustered in groups, poring over detailed drawings of apartments and houses of all sizes and gave Sam feedback on these initial ideas.

    Most people loved Sam’s innovative designs and made constructive suggestions for making them even better as well as giving the ‘thumbs up’ too many aspects.  Sam has already met with planners and other council officers so this meeting is the next step towards our planning application. Watch this space!!

Sally Collings