10 Nov Cohousing Conference, Friends of the Earth, Planning Official meeting and DTNI meeting…
October has been yet another incredibly busy month on the Cauldron Community calendar!
Getting a target site remains top of our current agenda and we also have just got a couple of new aspiring residents who show great promise in terms of helping with the increasing workload of manifesting the vital vision of the Cauldron Community Educational Eco Village. Please do help spread the word and if YOU can help in any way-we need all the support and help we can get-this is a team game and as far as we are concerned EVERYONE who cares about the environment in Ireland is a part of the Cauldron Communities work and vision: to create a more sustainable future for us all and for generations to come. Onwards!
Here’s some of the main things we have been up to this month:
13th Oct we had another meeting with Coop Alternatives in Belfast to review the latest Housing Proposal for Social Housing Enterprise. Basically its an opportunity for community groups to use government social housing. Tiziana O’Hara is looking further into this on our behalf in terms of the possibility of any designated sites for this that were never realised that might provide an opportunity for land.
22nd Oct The Cauldron Community held a formal meeting with Charlie Fisher Programme Manager of Development Trusts NI which is a body that is responsible for helping to secure government land that is not in use for Community groups. We had been exploring the possibility of land on the 770 acre site at Ballykelly Army base but the deadline for application for this site had just passed before we got the chance to meet Charlie. However there are other numerous other land options available via this route and Charlie was very supportive and is helping us to acquire a definitive list of current other possible sites for us from the Strategic Investment Board.
26th Oct The Cauldron Community were pleased to have been invited to a very cordial meeting with Geoff Sloan the Senior Planner in the NI government Design Section. The upshot of this is that there is going to be a review of local government planning policy (PPS 21) which looks at “Sustainable Development in the Countryside” in early 2016 and Geoff has promised to put forward “Low Impact Building” as an aspect of sustainable development into the review. This will then aid us in terms of seeking planning permission for the Cauldron Community from council planning authorities.
26th Oct Meeting with Niall Bakewell of Friends of the Earth NI in Belfast. Niall is very supportive of the Cauldron Community and has promised to give us a special feature in their next newsletter and has set things in motion for us to explore the option of having a formal affiliation between FOE NI and the CC, which seems a natural alliance given our respective aspirations. The CC is very keen on developing a very broad range of alliances, affiliations and support from all who are invested in a more sustainable future for Ireland.
28th Oct The Cauldron Community Coordinator John-Paul Patton was very honoured to speak at a pioneering Cohousing Potential in NI Conference in Belfast hosted by Andrew McMurray of NRG Solutions; which featured a very inspiring presentation and discussion with Stephen Hill (Chair of the UK Cohousing Network and a panel discussion chaired by Jim Kitchen of Sustainable NI. The event was very well attended and a lot of interest in the CC was generated. Another potential site for the Cauldron Community was also brought to our attention, details to follow in due course. A follow up meeting is being held in the Agape Centre on the Lisburn Road on the 25th November 7pm, all interested parties welcome! 🙂