Residents submit plans for new co-housing community in Leeds

Land on Barrack Road where Chapeltown Co-Housing Project hope to build homes. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Land on Barrack Road where Chapeltown Co-Housing Project hope to build homes. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A group of residents have submitted plans to Leeds City Council seeking approval for a ground-breaking co-housing scheme in Chapeltown.

ChaCo - Chapeltown Co-housing Ltd - have asked council chiefs for permission to transform a derelict piece of land, next to Barrack Road and Roundhay Road, into a community of 29 homes, a shared community building and five self-build plots.

The application also includes plans by Unity Housing Association Ltd to build 30 apartments for the over 55s.

The move marks a key stage in what has so far been seven years of work by ChaCo, to bring co-housing to the Chapeltown - one of Leeds’ most deprived areas. It follows a successful fundraising campaign which, in March, saw the group reach its £650,000 target - through investment pledges in a community share scheme - which provided enough capital to kick start the process.

The plans explain: “Co-housing is a relatively new and growing phenomenon in the UK. Embodying principles of mutual aid and sharing of resources, a co-housing scheme typically involves a self-organised group of individual households which collectively manage shared facilities such as cooking, childcare and laundry in a shared community building or common house.”

It adds: “Having a community like this in Chapeltown will have wide ranging benefits to the local community in terms of cohesion, health and wellbeing and local regeneration.”

Bill Phelps, one of ChaCo’s founders, said: “Members are finalising the design brief and are very excited about this next stage. Most of the rented units have been reserved now but we’re looking for the new members who want to buy remaining units which range from single bed apartments to four-bed family houses. There is also a shared house for people looking to just rent a room.”

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