The people behind this project share a common belief in the power of community and a strong commitment to the Chapeltown/Harehills area of Leeds. It might not be everyone’s idea of paradise, but this is where we belong and we want to see it flourishing.
How it started
In 2010, the members of a small housing co-op on Spencer Place invited some friends living nearby to explore the idea of setting up a cohousing scheme in the neighbourhood. We were inspired by the example of Lilac who were about to start construction of their own cohousing scheme in Bramley. But we wanted to do it here in Chapeltown, in our own wonderful corner of Leeds.
That’s how the vision started, and since then we’ve found plenty of other Chapeltown residents who are interested in joining us to create a neighbourhood where co-operation and sharing are built in from the start.
We want a community that’s…
- Sustainable – globally, economically and socially. We want the buildings and our lifestyles to have as low a carbon footprint as possible. But we don’t want to take on massive debts to achieve this. And we want people to enjoy living here – or else, what’s the point?
- Supportive – looking out for each other and sharing the responsibilities of keeping the show on the road. Also being generous with our time and possessions.
- Open – We don’t want to be a ghetto or walled community. We want our children to be able to play safely outside – but we don’t want to keep others out. We’d like to get to know our new neighbours in the streets around, and maybe make some of our communal facilities available to them. We don’t want to make it hard for people to join our community – and we don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that we’ve got all the answers.
- Diverse – Despite all these values, we don’t want to end up a community of self-righteous eco-freaks. We’d like to have as much diversity as possible in background, ethnicity, education, wealth, age and belief. (And, in practice, this might be the hardest value to maintain.)
Help make it happen
We need people to join us, people who understand broadly what we’re trying to do and who’d like to help us make this a reality. It’s generally recognised that the world needs more cooperation, rather than less – and here’s a golden opportunity to put that into practice with a bunch of people committed to living generous and interdependent lives.
If you’d like to find out more or meet the faces behind the dream, please get in touch. Send an email to or call Hannah on 07899 818343.