Environmental Living in Cambridgeshire

Enlincans looking ahead

Looking forward.

Vision statement

Enlinca intends to create developments of socially sustainable mixed neighbourhoods, based on the Cohousing model. These will consist of 15-30 private dwellings with additional community facilities and workshop/office space. One development will be in the City of Cambridge and one will be in a rural location.

The buildings will be constructed according to high ecological standards and the whole development will use a philosophy based on permaculture principles. The developments will be designed to promote social interaction, supporting a full neighbourly community. We will include units of various sizes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses. Enlinca is committed to including different forms of tenure, with a mix of owner-occupier and social housing and is currently exploring options such as rental properties, shared equity homes and subsidized or affordable homes. The cost of social space and eco-build will be balanced against affordability constraints.

Vision document

As with other Cohousing projects, we expect the developments will act as a catalyst and inspiration for significant improvements for other new and existing projects. Close links with existing adjoining communities will be actively encouraged.


We will develop the project to achieve a low ecological footprint using sustainable building materials and methods as far as is practical.

The buildings will incorporate proven technologies for energy and resource use eg optimum solar orientation, minimising energy requirements through high insulation levels, maximising use of renewable energy (eg solar hot water, ground-source heat, wind generation, biomass). We will minimise use of water by installing low water-use appliances, harvesting rainwater, recycling greywater and a SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) where appropriate.

Outside space
We envisage a design according to permaculture principles, and a mix of recreational and productive uses for the gardens. There will be a bike shed. Car parking will be at the periphery of the site with direct vehicular access to individual dwellings permissible under special circumstances only eg house moving or disability.

Resource use
We will pool equipment such as gardening and cleaning equipment. We will aim to reduce car use so car-sharing, car-pooling and electric cars will be encouraged. We will minimise all types of waste by careful purchasing and use all possible methods of recycling, including composting.


Each development will include a Common House. By providing a shared space to meet formally and informally, social contact and cooperation will be enabled between the members.

The common house will provide specific amenities eg kitchen facilities, laundry room, accommodation for guests, office space for Enlinca, games room, residents' lounge, bulk food store, and workshop space incorporating tools storage. It will act as overspill accommodation for members' needs and these shared resources will reduce the amount of space needed in individual houses. Residents will be able to eat together on a regular basis organised either by “bring and share” meals or by cooking rotas.

The common house will be primarily for the use of Enlinca members and their personal guests. Current residents may or may not elect to further develop the use of the House.


Businesses may be located within Enlinca developments in live-work units, enabling the reduction of traffic and travel. Depending on the wishes and interests of the residents, other enterprises could include bed and breakfast provision, educational courses, vegetable growing for a box scheme and complementary therapies.


The freehold will be owned by a company limited by guarantee and properties will be leased to individuals. We will draw up legal documents as the basis of these arrangements. All householders would be directors of the company and will be required to attend regular meetings.


Regular meetings will be held (eg monthly) to decide on community business. Wherever possible, decisions will be made by consensus. If conflict arises between individuals, an outside mediator can be called in as a last resort.

All members will work for the needs of the community for an agreed number of hours per month and we also envisage workdays for practical tasks of maintenance. Subcommittees will be nominated to be responsible for specific areas such energy use, food growing, finance etc.

Revised 15th October 2006

This vision document represents the ultimate aim of how we perceive our Cohousing developments. We recognise that in practice things may change over time as the community develops.