Marmalade Lane featured on the BBC

Cohousing is a relatively new concept, and it’s increasingly gaining currency with homeowners who are looking for a strong sense of community. Earlier this week BBC journalist Nana Akua reported from the site of Marmalade Lane, our new cohousing development in Cambridge.

“We’ve got the kids’ room there, and the wood burning stove is cited here…” Jan Chadwick and other future residents are members of the K1 cohousing group who have helped to design and realise the Marmalade Lane development, the first of its kind in the region. Her excitement as she shows the camera crew around the building site of the Common House is evident.

The principle of cohousing is that residents will share spaces and facilities that extend their private homes and create a strong sense of community. The Common House sits at the centre of Marmalade Lane. As well as containing laundry facilities and bookable spare rooms for guests, it creates a setting for all the residents to come together to eat, cook and socialise.

“The development came about because Cambridge City Council owned this bit of land and they wanted to do something a bit different from the usual housing development,” explains Jonny Anstead of TOWN. “They wanted to do something that would be better environmentally performing, and most importantly they wanted to make it community-led.”

Marmalade Lane is the result of an innovative process of collaboration between the K1 cohousing group, TOWN, Mole Architects and Trivselhus. As Meredith Bowles of Mole explains, “most people moving into a development of this size don’t get the opportunity to design their own houses. This is a really different way of doing it – instead of walking in and seeing the finished house and deciding whether you like it or not, all the members of the K1 group have been part of the process of designing their houses.”

Each home has been carefully considered and crafted. “I’m very happy about the house and the idea of living here,” says resident Chiara Valenzano. “It’s a good house, and well-built.”

Leading a tour of her new home, she draws attention to the thoughtful layout: “This is the master bedroom, you see it overlooks the garden. There’s lots of light and high ceilings.”

Both Chiara and Jan are looking forward to moving into Marmalade Lane when it is completed this September. “There’s a sense of neighbourliness which is terrific,” says Meredith. “It’s going to feel like a really social place to be.”

To find out more about Marmalade Lane visit marmaladelane.co.uk

Updated: 7/13/2018