This is the periodic update on how we have been progressing with the Angel Yard project. We have been having regular meetings of four groups of members and potential members. Firstly there is a Steering Group of committed members meeting weekly to examine and refine all aspects of the scheme. At these meetings we are usually joined by one or more of the team from our "developers" TOWN. They update us on what they have been doing to advance the project and offer a level of guidance on all aspects. They bring their experience with their other successful Marmalade Lane scheme and now also Milton Keynes projects.
A second group, the Design Group, have met around 6 times over the last 2-3 months, sometimes with the architects and sometimes without. This group has mainly, as it's name suggests, been involved in the outline design aspects related to the "pre-application" planning. Pre-application involves discussion between the developers, the cohousing group, other consultants and the planners to try and agree and refine the scheme as much as possible ahead of the full planning application. Members had to make a £500 commitment payment to participate in this group. We saw this payment as a way of ensuring mainly people with an intention to live at Angel yard had significant input into the finer planning aspects of the scheme. The pre-application should be with the planners by the end of August. This group will be starting another series of meetings to further refine the plans for homes once the pre-application process is complete.
The third group is the wider members group. This includes both the above groups and anyone else with an interest who is paying the £5 monthly membership fee. This group met twice monthly for the first 5 months or so of the year looking at all aspects of living together in cohousing and trying to evolve policies on everything from pets to decision making, taking a consensus approach as far as possible. These meetings continue on a monthly basis. As a result at least one subgroup has been established to look, in it's case, more deeply at the specific aspect of renting and learn from other cohousing group's experiences.
The long established new members meetings are taking place every few months. These are advertised on social media and aimed at informing people new to the idea of cohousing about it and specifically the Angel Yard project. With the easing of lockdown we have been able to return to a few in person social events. There have been a couple of summer meetings in members gardens and see the events page of the website for the other autumn events planned over the next few months.
There are still a lot of decisions to be made about how we live together as a diverse inter-generational community and so if you are new to this blog now is a great time to get involved.