Welcome to Mandorla Cohousing

Changed Circumstances June 2017

Much to our sadness, over the last couple of months it has now become clear that our wonderful project will not be realised; at least not in the form we have spent the last 4 ½ years pursuing. As you will see below in the excerpt from a statement released by Archihaus our Developer, the financing needed for the first phase of his development – of which Mandorla was a part – failed to materialise at the very final moment.

I cannot express just how devastated we are feeling. Whether or not our current membership has the energy to either start from scratch all over again, or follow a compromised route with Lagan Homes (who have taken over the site), remains to be seen. We would certainly welcome contact from potential members who live locally enough to contribute to manifesting a new project that would retain the Mandorla Vision; or any other groups with whom some of us might join forces.

Public Statement from Archihaus:

ArchiHaus was formed with the intention of developing housing to a higher standard of design and sustainability than mainstream developers, using offsite manufacture of high quality houses.
We were successful in gaining planning permission in 2014 for this new approach, with a scheme of 150 houses in Kingstone, Herefordshire. Since then we have experienced huge interest across the UK in the ideas developed at Kingstone.

We worked closely with the Government backed Builders Finance Fund for 2 years, had positive support and dialogue, and fully anticipated that we would secure the necessary finance through them to develop our exciting plans for Kingstone. Disappointingly an apparent change in their approach led to our finance being turned down at the final hurdle.
The Government claims that this fund was designed to support small developers unable to gain standard finance, to stimulate house building, and to encourage the development of offsite construction. It is therefore deeply disappointing that their rhetoric did not translate into actual support for a scheme which we believe, and were continually advised by the Builders Finance Fund, so clearly met their aims.
Despite relentless effort and hard work by ArchiHaus, it has not proved possible to raise alternative finance in our own right. After exploring a range of options, we have finally secured a solution that will enable a scheme to proceed on the site. We have sold the land to Lagan Homes who will take over the development in its entirety. We understand Lagan Homes will issue their own statement in the near future.

The directors of ArchiHaus feel badly let down by the Government Builders Finance fund. Doing things better really shouldn’t be this hard.

Jonathan Hines and Lars Carlsson, Directors ArchiHaus Ltd Tel: 01981 542111