It’s been abit of a rollercoaster this summer with the recent changes to legislation meaning that just as we got the go-ahead from the planners – it became clear that the whole future of housing associations was in doubt – especially in regards to building new houses!
It was a nail biting time and it’s a measure of the staying power and tenacity of this group and our advisors that we didn’t give up. We are relieved and quietly delighted to be able to say that things are looking a lot more positive now and we are in the tendering process with contractors.
Once we hear back from contractors, the next stage will be to finalise the development agreement between the housing association (Hastoe), the contractor and us, with the aim of starting on the infrastructure (roads and carparks etc.) in early 2017.
Another unexpected twist in the story is that due to Hastoe being able to secure some extra funding for affordable housing, the planned second stage of the project could (subject to a further planning application) happen a lot sooner than we all imagined . This could mean an extra 17 houses for rent and up to 13 self-build or self-finished houses. We anticipate that while residents of these additional homes would need to sign up to some of the cohousing objectives, like recycling and greener travel, they could choose whether or not to be part of cohousing.
There has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes as all manner of things have needed to be thought through & negotiated as we take a step nearer bringing this project to fruition.
We will be putting up a lot more information on the website as it all unfolds and also keeping people informed through our ‘friends of Bridport Cohousing’ monthly newsletter which you can subscribe to here. The important questions people keep asking like ‘when will it be built?’ and ‘how much will the houses cost?’ will hopefully be answered within the next few months. Watch this space!