We seem to have been busy in the last couple of months after a quiet Autumn.
In the Autumn, news on our grant application from homes England was delayed due to the general Election, there seemed to be no news on possible land sites and the weather deterred us from meeting and being outside.
Then, in what seemed a rather magical week, in January, three possible sites emerged, one in North Wight, one in the middle and one in East Wight!
We investigated all three, had site visits with musings on the possible layouts, looked at transport links, observed the orientation to the sun for solar gain and of course, thought about where to put the play areas and veggie patch.
After meeting and considering the sites in more depth, we met with Island Roads to see if there’d be any insurmountable access issues – there were for one of the sites, so that narrowed the choice for us.
Through reviewing local maps, we discovered another site had gas & water mains pipes running through the middle. The potential complications for the planning and build process, whilst not making it impossible, did make this site seem less attractive.
So, we have opted for the third site: It is open, relatively level, has good accessibility, is bounded by a long-term fence-line, is close to a community, and has good transport links…
We are having ‘zoom’ meetings to discuss this site and start more detailed site planning and then having a zoom meeting with Barefoot architects next week to play with the initial ideas and have a feasibility study conducted.
Things seem to be moving quite fast at the moment, we need to start writing our detailed finance & business plan, negotiate with the landowner, decide on priorities for the community site, seek grant finance from local authority and Homes England, write a ‘timeline’ for the near and medium future and, and, and…..
We hope this is the beginning of the more concrete and tangible stage of the journey and you’ll stay with us and join us for the ride.
Neil Oliver, (one of the ICoHo founder members)