Green building/eco village in Bristol. Fancy it???

Anything to do with environmental building projects.
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glenniedragon
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Post: #59066 glenniedragon
Tue May 29, 2007 9:03 am

You probably could! my brother used to live in Tiverton, near the church St Pauls I think its called next to the old folk home. Small world Madanna!

kind thoughts
Deb

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catalyst
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Post: #61053 catalyst
Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:38 pm

andy, it is possible. and you should go for it mate.
take a look at:

http://www.radicalroutes.org.uk

to join, you'd need to go to 3 meetings and answer people's questions about yer ethics etc...
but then they could lend a deposit, and several banks are very keen to lend mortgages to RR co-ops. RR has had practically no defaults in its history, and offers all kind of mutual aid type support to fledgling co-ops.

and if you cant make it work re a new community, perhaps there already is one that you'd fancy joining?

http://www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk/

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Post: #61533 mybarnconversion
Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:52 pm

I'd reckon that after the person with the original idea, the next two most important people to get involved would be a lawyer (boo! hiss!) as such a project is bound to require complex contractual undertakings and a web / IT person to help communication and organisation via a forum, blogs etc.

... I'm happy to help with the web bit :)

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Andy Hamilton
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Post: #61550 Andy Hamilton
Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:13 pm

Thanks for the links catalyst, most interesting and useful.

Been going over this idea with Dave a bit and capital would certainly be the first obstacle. So, if you set up a company sold shares in some of the housing plots for a rough example say 4 houses. These 4 houses could go for anywhere between £120 000 - £300 000 depending on the size and location. The investors or shareholders would be bound to getting a return dependant on the sale of these houses.

Another 4 houses could be built with shareholders money and these would give a continual payback as they would be rented. 4 more houses could be part rented and part bought.

The money raised from the sale of shares would go towards building the rest of the houses, running costs etc.

Then you have the rest of the group building their own and these other 8-12 houses. Say a settlement of about 20-30 houses altogether paid for by shareholders, bank loans, personal investment, radical routes (if possible) and anywhere else we can get cash from.

Would need a big area though as it would have to support a lot of people and of course we would want to grow as much food as possible.

Hmm, big project and as I said before one to return back to in a few months when the final manuscript has been sent off to the publishers and I have time to devote some energy to it.

But is the shareholders approach a viable one?
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Post: #61655 Thomzo
Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:52 pm

Hi Andy
The shareholders route is certainly a sensible one that could be explored nearer the time. The company could own all the land and lease, rather than sell, the houses. That way it could retain control over the common areas, what they were used for etc.

It could also be used as a vehicle to hold some holiday homes so that you could attract income from people who want a selfsufficientish holiday.

The company route would also enable SSishers who can't join the community to participate. They could own shares and benefit from the rise in property prices. They could also, potentially, have holiday rights or similar.

Having just come back from a weekend at a holiday camp what we need is an old holiday camp. The apartments/chalets could be upgraded for living in and they usually have loads of land for growing stuff. Maybe even a swimming pool!

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Post: #61901 Andy Hamilton
Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:29 pm

Some great ideas there Zoe an old holiday camp or even army barracks would do the job. - I like the idea of having holiday homes on the site to raise income, perhaps some yurts and teepee's for people with lower incomes who would still want to get a selfsufficentish holiday.
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Post: #61907 Thomzo
Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:42 pm

You could run evening courses or residential courses as well.
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Post: #61924 Andy Hamilton
Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:49 am

I just slept on the holiday camp idea. Yes to holiday homes and to running courses, I think that is a great idea for earning extra capital to keep the project going. I would think you could possibly even have building courses running as we are building. (firstly as a trial run to see if other people would just get in the way).

I have thought a bit more about the holiday camp this might run into problems as they were not built with energy efficiency in minds, also they might be a bit small for people to live in.

Shared areas like a pub, community center, 'living' pool etc might be a very good idea.
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
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Thomzo
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Post: #61952 Thomzo
Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:48 pm

Yes, the energy efficiency thing would have to be overcome. At the end of the day whatever can be found will probably have to be converted, rebuilt or built from scratch.

I definitely agree to the idea of a social area. Probably a large hall with a bar that can be used for all sorts of things. Including, possibly, a market from time to time for people to sell their produce, crafts etc. It could also be rented out to other groups - again to generate income for the project.

Zoe
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catalyst
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Post: #61997 catalyst
Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:00 pm

the shareholder idea is one option, but the company would have to pay corporation tax on all its surpluses... and you would actually have to do a 'proper' share issue, and you have to sell over a certain amount (50,000?) by a certain time. and you'd have to do this as a plc. private companies are not allowed to advertise their shares to the public.

whereas, a fully mutual housing co-operative can claim exemption from tax on its rental income, allowing the co-op to save to build more houses, or repair rooves etc...

its possible to borrow 70% from building society etc, then raise the other 30% from RRoutes, your own members, or issuing LOANSTOCK to the public - another benefit of housing co-ops.

another negative with companies is that their objective is to make money for the shareholders, who are normally different people to the employees, tenants, workers, clients... do you really want to be housed in an eco-village that is owned by shareholders whose primary concern is dividends, and who could decide to change the ethos of the company? not-for-profit companies are normally guarantee companies, but then these dont have shares...

to my mind, the housing co-op offering loanstock as a way to raise funds is a good way forward, perhaps with worker co-ops / ethical companies running businesses from the land (the holiday home idea?).

all these ideas are similar to what we are about to do, but we are buying land in our own names via a loan from a family member. we are very lucky, but then the figures we're talking about are smaller than would be needed in the uk.

in a previous life i helped people set up housing co-ops, so if i can help just holler! and read the housing co-op book from www.catalystcollective.org, and maybe go to a few RR gatherings to get support and advice - theres a lot of people there who have done this from scratch, and are willing to tell you what worked for them and what didnt... and most of them are coming from a green perspective.

good luck
andy

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Post: #62018 Thomzo
Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:15 pm

Hi Catalyst
That is interesting. Especially the bit about no corporation tax. Although I'm not sure a limited company for a scheme like this is going to make much profit. The other points you make about the limited company do not necessarily apply but the co-operative route is clearly worth investigating.

Cheers
Zoe
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Andy Hamilton
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Post: #62055 Andy Hamilton
Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:18 am

Yes it does look like the co-operative route is worth investigating and we will no doubt give you a holler if and when we get something off the ground. Actually lets be positive and say when.
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
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Post: #64684 SueSteve
Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:30 pm

Hi Andy,
I have only just joined this forum, but love your ideas.
We are 3 years into our 10 years plan!!!
3 years ago we bought a house, the plan was for the first 3 years to settle in, and get everyday things for the house sorted.
The next 7 years we are planning to pay off the mortgage, and then build our own house! We would love an acre, big enough for our own veggies and some chuks.
We plan to be within around 20miles of Gloucester, there are some nice places between Bristol and Gloucester and on the Herefordshire border. I have thought about the Cotswolds, but the soils are too thin and it would be wayyyyy tooo expensive.
Our children are 14,12 and 6, so in 7 years time they will be old enough to help. Also we wont need as big a house. Was thinking about having a small one bed self contained place should any of them want to be close to Mum & Dad!! Or for visiting.
There is a building society called the ecology building society (a while since I looked into it, but I think thats right).
There is an eco community in Bishops Castle on the Shrewsbury border that looks cool, we thought if something like that came up a bit closer to us, then we would be interested!
Anyway, I am interested in your project, and will tentatively say yes count me in!! (depending on money, area, time etc etc)
Sue

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Post: #64687 Millie
Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:48 pm

SueSteve wrote:depending on money, area, time etc etc


I would be interested, but Im not able to be flexible on area to the extent that everyone else is. Will keep an eye on the thread and see what develops :)

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Post: #64738 thecornflake
Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:31 am

I'm interested in this, it's been an ambition of mine for a long time to build my own house. I saw something a while ago about a small group of houses that were mostly self sufficient - they had reed beds, shared an electric car between them etc. Can't find the link at the moment but they were letting people visit on certain days and I was planning to go and have a look at some point.


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