Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the land like at Plotgate?

A. The land is level with very slight slope, clay soil sown to pasture, not liable to flood, and with established boundary hedges with several access points, water connected, no buildings at present

Q. Can you have access to more land that the original allocation of 8 dwellings on 7.25 acre field.

A. This suggested allocation is using the existing smaller field boundary, and assuming that the two others fields will each become a seperate smallholding. However this is a starting point, and there is room for flexibility. The requirement is to get the 8 live/work dwellings into a plot of less than 2 acres, with remaining 5 acres or more used for individual holdings for these residents, and maybe some of the larger smallholding fields can be added to these individual holdings. They are not intended as communal holdings, each resident will have their own holding to manage and use for their livelihood, and there may be an opportunity to purchase further surrounding land to add to overall acreage. Likewise the two smallholders will have larger acreages according to their needs All these details can be discussed and ideas put forward as we progress.

Q. Can live/work dwellings be built that are not reversible, as is required in the 15 Criteria, item 9?

A Yes, there is flexibility in these criteria, within reason. If you build an Earthship, this might not be easily reversible without demolition; again the criteria are intended to guide as much as restrict.

Q. Can residents have a transition period to establish their land-based ventures?

A. Yes, the Plotgate Venture is a transition project, and we will all need time to establish our various livelihoods, which might require us to have other sources of income to see us through the transition. Thats accepted, as long as such a transition doesnt fly in the face of the overall aim to be "low-impact". Again if we are reasonable rather than dogmatic, we can see our way through a challenging transition period.

Q. Is there access to other sustainable resources near to Plotgate?

A. Yes, we have use of 20+ acre mixed woodland for lumber, firewood etc, as long as we adopt a sustainable approach to its management. Plus there are other nearby resources, biomass and soil improving mediums, recycled crushed concrete, quarrystone, building straw etc etc Plotgate is in a good spot to make use of local and recycled material.

Q. Will there be "space" for individual residents to do their own thing?

A. Yes, it is not a collective enterprise, each resident of the co-housing group of live / work units will be free to follow their own endeavours, within a small eco-community with some shared and common facilities, but which relies on each persons' ability to gain their livelihood from their part of Plotgate. There will be no requirement for group "worship" of any kind, nor an obligation to eat communally or whatever, BUT.....shared facilities need shared management, and it benefits all Plotgate residents to be part of this process. In addition we all learn through working together.

Q. What will be the outgoings for Plotgate Residents?

A. That cannot be answered at present, but certainly less that a typical house or work unit. There is no indication as to what individual "council tax" will be payable, nor what the overall cost of gaining planning approval and other costs/fees might be, which will be shared by all residents

Q. How sure are we to get Planning Permission?

A...We are not sure about anything.....who is these days? But our project ticks lots of boxes and we are confident. Our planning application is well written by acknowledged expert in such low-impact projects. We are not estate agents selling a "dream" , and we are looking for others with drive and enthusiasm to help us make Plotgate a reality. Please dont expect it all on a plate, but if you want to be part of the process, your input will be welcome - in fact your input is needed.

Q. Can people who do not have sufficient capital be involved in Plotgate?

A. The Plotgate Venture is aimed at those who cannot find a similar opportunity through the open property market, through limited or lack of capital, and as such it needs to be affordable, and to be open to all. It is hoped that mortgages will be available through ethical providers, and that these will reflect the different approach to ownership that Plotgate offers. Leasehold rather than freehold and low-impact self-build rather than 'grand designs', but still able to attract a mortgage.The actual cost of each Plotgate member's part of The Plotgate Venture, both residents of live/work units and of the two larger acreage smallholdings, will be based on actual cost of land plus all other costs built up through the process, planning costs, fees, provision of shared facilities,etc etc. It is not intended to make a profit from this "sale" of assets, but costs must be reflected in the price that residents will pay. It is estimated that this cost will be under £20,000 per plot, which will include access to the holdings attached to these live/work units. What residents spend on their building is their choice, as long as it meets the criteria outlined in the info file.