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About cohousing

Cohousing is a housing community where the cars are parked on the periphery, freeing pedestrian space for community members of all ages, where each household has a self-contained home and access to shared facilities, and where residents have the opportunity to eat together and meet regularly in a large communal house.


We believe that people need both community and privacy. Cohousing is a way for people to live together so that they can have as much community and privacy as they want. The concept is simple and immediately comprehensible. It is a way for human beings to live together in a safe, independent and caring neighbourhood. We will no longer just choose a new house when we move, we will join a new community.


Cohousing started in Denmark in the 1970's, and possibly as many as 1% of the Danish population now live in cohousing. It is becoming popular in other European countries and in the USA where there are many cohousing communities and more starting. The term cohousing was coined by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett in their book Cohousing, a contemporary approach to modern living, first published in 1994.

At Springhill, all resident members have a say in the running and developing of the community and decision-making is by consensus, where possible. Monthly residents' meetings are held to discuss issues, allocate resources and arrive at consensus. There are no leaders, and all community issues are managed by volunteers. 


The buildings are well-insulated, timber-framed, low polluting and energy saving in design. Most have solar panels generating cheap, low-carbon electricity. Our three-storey common house has a kitchen / dining room for our communal meals, a sitting room with projector and piano, a games room for table tennis and pool, and laundry facilities. Outdoors we have a communal vegetable garden and orchard, a children's treehouse, a rewilded "secret garden" with firepit, and a workshop with communal tools for DIY and repair. 


We hold a Springhill fete in the summer, and every winter put on a play written and produced by the community. Various residents also organise a book group, choir practice, yoga sessions, weekly drinks and nibbles, film nights, National Theatre screenings, music appreciation evenings, boardgame nights, ad hoc parties and celebrations - the list goes on!

Learn more at our FAQ page, the UK Cohousing Network site, or get in touch

History of Springhill

The site where Springhill now stands was purchased on the 4th September 2000. David Michael formed the Cohousing Company Ltd., invited new householders to become directors, and transferred ownership of the site to the company. As managing director, he managed the finances, legal agreements, recruited members and coordinated the project. Plots were 30% pre-sold (to members) before the land purchase was completed in April 2001.


The site received detailed planning permission for 35 houses/flats on 12th June 2001, and building work started on August 5th 2002. The first residents moved in in the summer and autumn of 2003. The original design was based on and informed by the 2 books, Cohousing by Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant, and A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander.

The site and the houses were designed by Architype Architects.

Residents area
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