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The wider benefits of cohousing: The case of Bridport Cohousing

A round table lunch meeting at the London School of Economics

On Friday 20th September, Monica, Lin, Judith and Charles met Jim Hudson and sat round a table at the London School Of Economics with 13 others**, who were all contributing to a discussion of the report that Jim has been commissioned to prepare for Bridport Cohousing.  This was looking at the expected social and environmental benefits of Bridport Cohousing in Dorset.   

The benefits to residents are well researched and understood, but the impact outside of the group is something that BC has had to think about in the past, when preparing presentations to councils and funders, and particularly in our planning application.  Now we have the additional benefit of those with wider experience in the housing sector bringing that experience to our project.

We were all welcomed by Kath Scanlon, of the LSE; and with food on our plates we took our places at the table and all introduced ourselves.  It was really great to see such a range of people, from a range of organisations, gathering for the benefit of cohousing in general, and Bridport Cohousing in particular. 

Between us, Judith, Lin and I gave a brief introduction to BC, and Charles added relevant professional information.  Specific parts of the draft report were read out and the conversation began. It was fascinating to hear other people bringing their experience to bear on Jim’s work, developing ideas and making links between them.

The report that Jim Hudson has prepared “The wider benefits of cohousing: The case of Bridport” can be found at the following link:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/geography-and-environment/research/lse-london/documents/Reports/Bridport-cohousing-report.pdf 

 

** Other attendees were:

 

Shirley Meredeen – of Older Women’s Co-Housing, London

Sheila Nicholson – ditto

Melissa Fernandez – of Lancaster University, working with Jim Hudson

Iqbal Hamiduddin – of the Bartlett (School of Architecture and Planning), University College, London; who is a specialist in rural planning and self-build housing, and was second supervisor for Jim Hudson’s PhD.

Jess Haigh – of barefoot architects – BC’s architects

Zohra Chiheb – an architect, working with Croydon Council on enabling Community Led DevelopmentZohra visited BC a few years ago and has developed her interest in cohousing.

Simon Henley – of Henley Halebrown, architects of Copper Lane, London’s first cohousing scheme

Stephen Hill – an independent public interest practitioner, currently Chair of the UK Cohousing Network, and a board member of the UK Cohousing Trust and the National Community Land Trust Network.

Andrea Jones – of Good Health Projects, Managing a programme of community led housing capacity building in Brighton & Hove; who has recently completed her PhD that explored the experience of older members in various cohousing groups in the UK.

John Goodman – Chair of the UK cohousing Trust; formerly head of policy and the regions at Co-operatives UK from 2000-2013, with extensive prior experience of working within co-operative housing. 

Levent Kerimol – of Community Led Housing, London

Nigel Kersey – of The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  Judith and I had previously met Nigel at this year’s ‘Community Led Housing Think Tank’ at Trafford Hall, Chester; led by Anne Power, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the LSE.

From: Monica King, with input from Jim Hudson

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