Bridport Cohousing, a pioneering development of affordable eco homes, has been shortlisted for two prestigious Inside Housing Development Awards. 

The flagship development, called Hazelmead, is the UK’s largest cohousing project to date, comprising 53 eco-homes to buy and rent, the majority of which are affordable homes.  It will be celebrating on 31 July with an initial opening event, providing stakeholders with an opportunity to see how this ambitious vision of sustainable living has been transformed into reality. 

To celebrate the vision becoming reality the special opening event will be attended by MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, and the Mayor of Bridport, Cllr Dave Bolwell. 

As well as some of the original members and directors of Bridport Cohousing who have been instrumental in driving this site forwards, a host of leading housing specialists will be on-site on the day. They include Barefoot Architects, who worked with Bridport Cohousing members to design Hazelmead; CEPRO/HMCE, which provides the development’s solar-powered micro-grid; building contractor CG Fry; local authorities and representatives from Homes England.  The South West-based charitable housing association BCHA will also be there for the event, they will own and manage the majority of homes. 

This also provides a deserved opportunity to celebrate with everyone involved, knowing that Hazelmead has been shortlisted for;

  • Best Development (0-100 homes)
  • Best Affordable Housing Development (less than £10 million)

at the Inside Housing Development Awards 2023, which will take place in London on Friday 29 September. 

The high-profile national awards champion teams, schemes and solutions that have made a positive impact on communities across the UK – celebrating the outstanding achievements of house builders, developers, landlords, architects and sustainability innovators. 


Visitors attending the event on 31st July will be able to: 

  • Tour the spacious, bright, super-insulated, energy-efficient eco-homes

  • Find out about this flagship model of sustainable, community-based living

  • Meet some of the residents on-site and hear their cohousing journey and stories

  • Inspect the carbon-free, site-wide, solar-powered microgrid that powers the properties

  • Examine the integral use of air-source heat pumps, which provide hot water

  • Discover Bridport Cohousing’s target to reduce its carbon footprint by 40% in five years

  • Tour the communal food growing beds at the rear of the houses which were planted up only 4 months ago 

  • Find out about plans to cut food bills and reduce food miles to footsteps

  • Learn about the site’s biodiversity, commitment to organic growing and permaculture

  • Find out about Sociocracy - the way the residents govern themselves

  • Breathe fresh, countryside air in car-free streets where children can safely play

BCHA is delivering 39 homes at Hazelmead, of which 26 will be for Social Rent and 13  for Shared Ownership, starting with a 25% share. Bridport Cohousing has delivered an additional 14 homes for Shared Equity with an 80% share and these were the first homes to be occupied. 

Dorset Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Homelessness Graham Carr -Jones, said

“This was an exciting prospect for Dorset Council, and we were keen to support and provide a grant towards the land purchase. This scheme demonstrates why as an authority we want to adopt a flexible approach and encourage innovative schemes such as this one. It's about approaching housing in as imaginative way as possible and it's great to hear such positive feedback from this growing community.”

Cllr Graham Carr -Jones

BCHA CEO, Lorraine Mealings, said

Through vision, class-leading architecture and cutting-edge sustainable technology, Hazelmead has set a benchmark for the development of eco-friendly housing – at a time when the climate emergency is driving demand for innovative low-carbon homes.  It has taken so much passion, perseverance and dedication from all involved over many years to get to site to this point. Congratulations to everyone who turned this vision into reality: to be nominated for two Inside Housing Development Awards is outstanding and everyone who brought Hazelmead to life should be proud of their achievements.

Lorraine Mealings

Bridport Cohousing’s Lin Scrannage said:

“The Hazelmead cohousing neighbourhood could only have happened because members have given their time freely. Thousands of hours of unpaid work has gone into the formation of this project - it is truly remarkable that such an achievement came out of the hopes and visions of a small group of local people fifteen years ago. Hazelmead is an inspiration for all those who seek to make a change in the way housing is delivered in their local communities and who want a better quality of life.’’

Lin Scrannage

To find out more about Bridport Cohousing, email or for media to register to attend the opening event, please email 

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