• home
  • posts
  • cohousing project
  • Posted November 11th, 2016

    Rent first to see if a self-build home in a cohousing project at an eco-chateau in France is for you

    Rent first to see if a self-build home in a cohousing project at an eco-chateau in France is for you

    An cohousing eco-hamlet around a chateau in the Dordogne region of France is being formed. You can rent a plot to see if the project is for you, before deciding whether to become a co-owner.

    NB: this project is no longer accepting applications.

    The Chateau

    Chateau de Cautine lies 500 meters above sea-level, surrounded by the vast tranquil countryside of one of the least populated parts of France. It is a region of high plateaus and deeply incised gorges with mountains, lakes, forests and rivers including the magnificent Dordogne river just 15 minutes away.

    The chateau is the central hub of a cohousing project, and we have permission for several residential plots around the chateau.


    We’re looking for co-owners – people to buy into the project. Initially, we’re allowing people to rent a mobile home on a plot to see first if the project might be for them, with an option to purchase later.

    The chateau can provide employment for co-owners (it’s a rented in part or whole to holidaymakers, and for retreats, workshops and events). The place is off-grid, with many ecological facilities.

    Eventually, the eco-hamlet will provide a model of low-impact living and holidaymaking. Each plot will have a permanent home and a large garden.


    The plan

    Our plans have been a long time coming and have had to change a few times along the way for very good reasons, mainly due to planning application delays and avoiding the risk of starting without a fully workable plan. The research we have carried out during this time, however, has been invaluable. In the last newsletter, we were searching for co-owners for the property and after holding a number of open weekends in the Spring this year, many were very interested but found it too large of a commitment without knowing the other people or the place beforehand.

    As a result of these findings, we have modified the first stage quite radically and we now feel that we have an exciting way forward, which will allow for a minimal investment with maximum flexibility for those who wish to try out living here with a view to making an ongoing commitment.

    The revised offer

    For a rental of around €380 per month*, would you like to live off-grid, in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of south- central France?

    Can you picture life with a large private allotment to grow your own food, acres of land to roam around in, like-minded neighbours, a beautiful communal space for gatherings, a communal laundry, a large swimming pool, rooms in a fabulous chateau for friends and family when they want to visit ‘at cost’, a retreat centre on your doorstep where you can earn a living by creating workshops and events for groups or do the catering or help with events, with a local exchange trading system and with the option to buy a plot later if you fit in and it fits you?

    *This price is approximate and does not constitute an offer.

    Families with children

    So far 6 of the 8 people/couples are over 45 years so we are now targeting families with children and younger residents. The following may interest you if you have kids….

    Forest School – we are in discussion with Angelina, an experienced primary school teacher and Forest School teacher who is interested in setting up a forest school at Eco Chateau for residents children and for the neighbourhood.


    Design and build of the mobile houses

    Peter Blok has worked up a most lovely eco mobile house design for us! You can view some of his designs here.

    He is working on detailed plans and costings now. Guided self-build and turnkey options will be available. We envisage building onsite from June next year. The build will be self-organised by each person who will contract directly with local building guides and carpenters under the guidance of Peter.

    NB: this project is no longer accepting applications.

    The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's


    Leave a comment

    We welcome questions.

    There’s a crash coming – a slap from Mother Nature. This isn’t pessimistic; it’s realistic.

    The human impact on nature and on each other is accelerating and needs systemic change to reverse.

    We’re not advocating poverty, or a hair-shirt existence. We advocate changes that will mean better lives for almost everyone.

    Latest Comments

    Stay up to date

    Newsletter sign up is temporarily disabled

    Facebook icon Twitter icon Youtube icon

    All rights reserved © lowimpact 2022