As humanity struggles to leave the fossil-fuel age behind and embrace a positive vision of the future there will be many struggles along the way, and many victories. Today I want to highlight three local projects that all are well worth celebrating!
5th June at Herefordshire Council Planning Committee meeting ArchiHaus got planning permission for 150 Passivhaus houses in Kingstone, despite some fierce opposition. This will be one of the largest rural Passivhaus developments anywhere in the world. It will allow the development of a new house factory to build high thermal specification components in Hereford, just the kind of employment we need locally. The development includes many interesting and exciting aspects that add to its sustainability credentials. Hopefully it will have the added effect of raising building standards across the county and beyond.
1st June was the first birthday of St James and Bartonsham Car Club, which we celebrated by walking up to Dinedor Hill Fort for a picnic, and a very nice day it was. We have doubled in size over these last twelve months, from one to two dozen households. We currently share the use, ownership and responsibility for three cars and are just about to acquire our fourth. The club generates many diverse benefits both for our members and for the wider community. It is, as our logo says, ‘cheaper, greener travel’. We do quite a bit of outreach work, helping other communities to consider the possibilities of setting up their own car-share clubs.
17th June saw the AGM of Leominster Community Solar Co-operative, and again there was much to celebrate. The panels have been producing more electricity than had been written into the business plan, so the problem was one of what to do with larger than anticipated profits. A vote was carried to put a portion into helping other local community renewables projects get established, and much appreciation was expressed for the hard work of the great folks at Sharenergy. This solar co-op, like the passive house project and the car club, are models worth replicating! All have social and ecological benefits and point to the possibilities of a more sustainable future, and a better future!
More about ArchiHaus http://www.archihaus.co.uk/
More about our car-sharing scheme http://www.stjamescarclub.org/
More about Leominster Solar Co-op http://www.sharenergy.coop/leominstersolar/