July 2020

We had some further talks with our friendly planning graduate. Unfortunately, at the current time, they’ve found it hard to talk with planning departments around the WMCA area. They’ve now embarked on putting together a case for us, so we will be able to approach councils, point to all our significant social benefits, and ask for suitable plots of land at at least slightly below market rates.

We were approached by a student tackling the subject of diversity and inclusivity in projects such as ours. We had a long chat, and when they’ve refined their ideas, they’ll get back to us and seek to interview a couple of members / ex-members for their ideas on how we’ve approached these issues.

We put out an appeal on the Community Led Housing FaceBook page for more pairs of eyes (without wanting to exclude people with restricted vision!) to help us examine the Project Plan. With their helpful suggestions, version 0.2 was prepared, in which the interlinks between chunks of the Five Streams are handled in a more understandable way. Also, one significant early comment was that the Site stream was too light on detail.

One of us attended the Homebuilding & Renovation Virtual Summer Show. The highlight for us was the Land Hub area, which had an enormously helpful set of lectures by Mark Stevenson, from Potton:

  • How to start your plot search
  • Land – what to look for
  • The best ways to find a plot
  • Plot finding case studies
  • Renovate & replace
  • The plot buying process
  • Appraising a building plot
  • Paying the right price for your plot

As you have probably anticipated, this will be invaluable in fleshing out our Site stream.

We looked at another plot of land in Sheldon, which had a great deal to commend it. Close to Sheldon Country Park, and to transport links. Unfortunately, close to the airport, though not directly under the flight path. We felt that despite the risk of significant air pollution, it was worth making at least initial enquiries.

And so it goes…

Published by CoHoWM

Cohousing West Midlands is (surprise) a cohousing project for the West Midlands! Cohousing is where everyone has their own front door, but there's also a community house for weekly shared meals and activities, and other shared spaces. More than a Housing Association, and less than a co-op!

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