A cohousing project hailed as an attempt to tackle loneliness and create community cohesion has been axed after a seven-year bid to bring the scheme to fruition.

Organisers behind the Glasgow-based Clachan Cohousing project have announced they are "drawing a line" under the initiative, citing a lack of Scottish Government funding and post-Brexit increases in building costs and interest rates, reports the Herald. 

A spokesperson for Clachan Cohousing Mutual Home Ownership Society also said the group had been "frustrated" by the "pace of negotiations" with Glasgow City Council regarding finding a suitable site.

A statement from Clachan Cohousing said its Core Group - the group running the project - have been working for more than seven years to build a cohousing community in Glasgow.

It said: "We have been frustrated by the pace of negotiations over accessing a suitable site via Glasgow City Council and the lack of any supportive funding available from the Scottish Government.

"Ultimately, following on from Covid and Brexit, it is the increased cost of the build and increase in interest rates that have undermined the viability of the project."

At a meeting of the group it was agreed to end the current phase of Clachan Cohousing but the organisers will still meet every three to six months to see whether the economic climate has changed sufficiently to allow the work to resume.

Partners in the project - including Gilbert's Architects, Luci Alderslowe a Permaculture Consultant - and Glasgow City Council have been informed of the decision.

Cohousing is a form of communal living where residents have their own space but share communal areas such as kitchens and other resources like tools and vehicles.

They are praised as a way of cutting down on the resources used by individual households while also helping tackle loneliness and social isolation.

It is an eco-friendly housing model whereby a group of people build, develop and then run their own community.

The group had plans to build a cohousing development of around 22 homes on a site in Glasgow, having looked at the Maryhill and Summerston area.

Maryhill is already the site of a self-build scheme that was heavily promoted by Glasgow City Council, which employed a self-build officer to work with would-be self-builders on their plans.

The officer had, it is understood, worked with the Clachan Core Group to identify a potential site at Knowetap Street in Maryhill.

Currently, there is no governance that would allow a local authority to transfer ownership of land through a nominated disposal and, instead, plots must be marketed on the open market.

Councils can work with cohousing groups to support their plans but there is not currently local authority or Scottish Government funding specific to cohousing builds.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “While we are always open to fresh ideas about delivering new homes in the city, at present there is no council policy approved to financially support, or for nominated disposal of sites, to co-housing groups.

"Disappointing as it may be for some groups, there are a number of barriers – not least financial – in terms of making such a project a reality."

Clachan Cohousing was planned to be financed by Mutual Home Ownerships where residents pay a deposit towards the building costs of their home and then each member pays in a percentage of their net income.

This pays off the equity without people taking on individual mortgages then, should they decide to leave, some of this money is returned.

Co-housing began in Denmark in the 1960s when young families bought adjoining properties to share childminding and now are common across the country.

Clachan Cohousing would have been based on the LILAC project in Leeds, a complex of 20 homes, a central allotment and shared garden, two small car parks, three bike sheds and a large common house.

Christine Vennard, from Clachan Cohousing, said: "Over the years we have worked well as a development group in undertaking any work and making decisions.

"We are still convinced that cohousing is a way of answering some of the big issues of our time, building and living sustainably and living in supportive communities.

"We have undertaken a lot of preparation work towards our ambition to build a cohousing community and do not want to lose sight of this.

"When there are changes in the economic climate, we intend drawing together another Clachan Cohousing Development Group to take forward our dream of building of a cohousing community in Glasgow."

The Scottish Government confirmed that there is no specific fund for cohousing projects.

Groups in other parts of Scotland have successfully partnered with Registered Social Landlords in order to build cohousing projects.