Visit to Cannock Mill Cohousing

Colchester Civic Society Visit to Cannock Mill

Our visit to Cannock Mill and the cohousing scheme of which the mill is now a part was hosted by Colchester Civic Society member David York.

Thanks  to David and some of his fellow members of the community we were made very welcome  and provided with accounts of how their cohousing community came about. We were also treated to homemade tea and cakes and biscuits in the communal dining room, housed in the grade 1 listed Mill building. I remembered the building well from a time in the late sixties when the Civic Society used this as a base for working on clearing the wooded valley upstream of the mill. The completed boardwalk and pathway was eventually handed over to Colchester Council, who continue to maintain it to this day.

The mill today, as you can see from the photos, has been renovated and made into the community hub for the thirty two members of the cohousing group. They eat here twice a week and upstairs they have a beautiful sitting room equipped with a large tv screen and sound system. The mill also houses guest bedrooms for visitors. The Passivhaus standard houses built in the grounds of the mill provide two or three bedroom individual houses, each with their own terraced back garden on the sloping site. Above this is a community vegetable garden, which provides vegetables for the community meals. This area of the site is still in development and an orchard is being planned here too.

The houses were designed by an architect who is also member of the community. They are of timber construction and use organic materials to provide the high level of insulation required for the very high Passivhaus standards. Each house has its own central heating system, but it’s main function is to heat water. The houses need little or no heating.

More recently the Victorian House has been converted to single bedroom apartments. There is one currently vacant.

If you would like to find out more then go to Cannock Mill Cohousing – Cannock Mill Cohousing

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