Life at Forgebank (Lancaster Cohousing)

Lancaster Cohousing

Lancaster Cohousing's vision

“We are an intergenerational cohousing community that encourages social interaction and is built on ecological values. We provide and maintain homes and community facilities alongside workshop/office space. We seek to enable sustainable travel to central Lancaster so that residents have easy access to amenities that are not available in Halton village.

Our community is built on ecological values with new buildings achieving Passivhaus standard and meeting the requirements of Code for Sustainable Homes Level Six. They are designed to facilitate spontaneous socialisation supporting a full neighbourly community. The development comprises properties that are of interest to a range of household sizes and incomes.

The project will be a cutting-edge example of sustainable design and living. It will act as a catalyst and inspiration for significant improvements in the sustainability of new development, and will have close links to Halton and the wider community.”

Life at Forgebank

Forgebank is Lancaster Cohousing's 41-home development that sits alongside the River Lune. The setting is stunning. Surrounded by trees, beautiful greenery and the river’s gentle sounds, Lancaster Cohousing epitomises the high standards many community led housing groups are seeking to achieve.

The homes have been built to Passivhaus standards which means they are all ultra-low energy. Design features such as large south-facing windows capture heat from the sun, the buildings have very high levels of insulation and have been tested for airtightness. These homes are super.

The development has also been designed to encourage social interaction. The street is pedestrianised, there’s a common house and communal facilities including a garden, laundry and guest rooms.

The intergenerational make-up of the Forgebank community is not dissimilar to a regular street, but it’s fair to say the interactions are quite unlike your typical street. At Forgebank the whole point is that people are there for each other, residents regularly cook meals for each other and eat together - they’ve created the community spirit that they wanted.

At Forgebank, like other cohousing projects, there is a balance between private and communal space. Residents have their own homes which include all the mod-cons that you'd expect to see, as well as access to a common house.

The common house is at the heart of the development. This shared space is pivotal and the place where residents can go to eat shared meals, hold meetings and other activities. The whole point of Forgebank is that social interactions are made as easy as possible and encouraged.

This sharing mentality extends further to cost and energy savings too. The residents have a car club so people can share lifts into town, they have shared appliances like lawnmowers and washing machines to save everyone buying one each, energy efficient systems (including a heating and hot water system that is powered by woodchip!) and a co-operative food store. 

For more information about Lancaster Cohousing please visit their website. There you'll also find details of the regular tours and residential learning weekends that they hold for people interested in learning more about cohousing.