Published 23/6/14  11:53pmby Pete Richardson


Not a World Cup event - but much more important

It’s approaching midnight on a momentous day. Brazil beat Cameroon 4 -1, England are slipping towards defeat in the latest cricket test match, Andy Murray has started strongly at Wimbledon and our garden is loaded (was loaded!) with strawberries.

But the event of the day was the completion of our pre-feasibility study. I’m not going to put all of it up here as it’s a massive 99 pages long. I’ll wait until we have an executive summary but in the meantime here’s a couple of highlights.

As part of the study we undertook 67 conversations using our questionnaire and discovered that

  • people do know what makes a good community
  • people want safe green space and growing space
  • people want community facilities owned and managed by the community, which are not culturally specific to one ethnic group or religion
  • there was a high level of concern about provision for teenagers and young adults
  • people saw a need for affordable, well designed, good quality housing


Through these and many other conversations we have concluded that:

The Leopold site offers potential for innovative development, focused on building on the best traditions of Chapeltown and meeting the yearning people have for improved facilities and stronger community. It can deliver a mixed range of attractive new, affordable, low energy sustainable housing which can include self-build, co-housing and can meet a wide range of needs.

There is a real opportunity here to develop the site in ways which can enhance the community, improve resources and meet local aspirations, and can significantly contribute to improving community wellbeing. In particular it can offer a community based approach to growing and sharing food and providing improved sports facilities and access to nature for our children, and people of all ages. It can provide employment and training opportunities for local people. It can deliver community facilities which return ownership and responsibility to the people who live here.

So today has been momentous because our pre-feasibility study is complete and it means we are one step closer to achieving our vision to:

Transform derelict land; an under-used playing field, a dilapidated day-centre and run down historic buildings into a vibrant urban village bursting with sustainable housing, recreational space, opportunities for inter-generational connections and a diverse intentional community grown from the local