Due for completion in summer 2018, Marmalade Lane is Cambridge’s first cohousing community. The £8 million development is made up of 42 high quality custom-built homes together with extensive shared facilities. The contemporary townhouses take the form of traditional Cambridge terraces with high ceilings, tall windows and light interiors, set around a shared space.
The cohousing community includes a range of homes from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom family homes. It also includes a common house with a shared lounge, kitchen, dining area, meeting rooms, children’s play room, laundry and visitor bedrooms; as well as a large communal garden incorporating fruit and vegetable plots and a workshop.
As the homes are custom-built, buyers can modify the properties to meet their own requirements; choosing from a range of interior configurations to decide on how their space is divided, internal fittings such as wall finishes, kitchens and bathrooms, as well as external options such as brick finishes.
All the homes will be built using TOWNhus’s Swedish precision-manufactured closed timber panel construction system, making them highly efficient and cost-effective to run. The system is based on 240mm thick wall panels which offer very high standards of insulation and air-tightness.
The timber windows will be triple-glazed and aluminium-clad, to provide very high levels of insulation and sound-proofing. The homes are designed to meet near-Passivhaus standards, requiring minimal heating in winter and therefore benefiting from much lower energy bills than most new developments.
Cohousing communities are created and run by their residents, where people not only know their neighbours, but actively manage their communal environment together.
Marmalade Lane is the result of many years’ hard work from members of the Cambridge-based K1 Cohousing Group to find a site, agree designs and secure planning permission. Landowner Cambridge City Council wanted to see the site developed for cohousing in an innovative way, to offer a new model for home ownership in the city.
Councillor Richard Robertson, executive councillor for finance and resources at Cambridge City Council, said “This project demonstrates Cambridge City Council’s ongoing commitment to using its assets and resources to encourage new models of housing provision whilst generating capital receipts that can be recycled into future projects for the benefit of the city.”