‘Strong bond’ of Leeds LILAC co-housing residents

By Samantha Haines, BBC News, Leeds

LILAC residents at a ground breaking ceremony on the site in April
LILAC’s residents will move into their new homes in the spring

It began as a conversation between friends with the same ideals.

They wanted to be neighbours, to form a community, to raise their children together and live in eco-friendly, warm, affordable homes.

Now, more than five years on, they are weeks away from being given the keys to their dream.

“It’s been such a story of perseverance and dedication, really. It’s been an amazing journey. This last bit’s the hardest because it’s just counting the days now until we move in,” said Paul Chatterton, one of the soon-to-be residents of LILAC.

LILAC, or Low Impact Living Affordable Community, is a development of 20 straw bale homes on the site of a former school in Bramley, Leeds, and is said to be the UK’s first affordable, green co-housing project.

Dr Chatterton and his partner Tash Gordon are among the founding members of the scheme.

Dr Gordon, the project’s treasurer, said: “The UK has several other co-housing projects, several other ecological projects and lots of affordable housing projects but LILAC will be the first project that does all these three things together.”

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