The Emerald Village

Dec 5, 2017

A Community Driven Pop-Up Ecohousing Pilot

We are in a seemingly unending housing crisis, whilst we build into precious green open lands.

London has lost many creative and entrepreneurial talents from central locations, even some choosing to move to another country completely. People are being priced out of the market and cities are dying.
With land prices and rent increasing so rapidly, we are seeking a novel and interesting solution tobe put into place.

Utilising wasted spaces left dormant, such as opening up access to unused land or brownfield sites around the UK, whereby new bio-remedial technology can be used to treat the soil ground whilst pop-up villages provide a housing solution.

We are proposing a four phased approach;

  1. On grid pilot pop-up housing in garden village environment (this proposal)
  2. Off grid housing self-sufficient energy production
  3. Develop bio-remedial land cleaning expertise
  4. Expand concept to brown sites

This project offers a care taker service for land owners re-using land or brownfield sites before further use has commenced.

The housing will make use of a ‘container style’ housing solution from MAC containers.

Custom made to order with widths up to 3.65 metres and lengths up to 13.4 metres giving a floor plan of 48.91 square metres.

Units can be fully fitted with all utilities kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and lounges.

Costs are around £30k + delivery for the large units. Delivery is around £895.

The buildings fully meet UK building regulations and in most cases do not need planning permission as they are classified as temporary buildings. With an expected life span of around 60 years, they provide an affordable and practical housing solution. The properties will both be managed and maintained by the Yellow Brick Road Housing Co-operative.

The village will be set in a garden environment as we are partnering with urban garden and grower groups.

For the sakes of planning we have created a budget for five two bedroom flats and twelve studios. We have also budgeted for a large community centre built using modules, so that it can easily be extended.

How to get involved?

May 5, 2016
Help us along the yellow brick road
Firstly, sign up to this website and you can get involved in our community.

All donations are welcome for our cause so you can donate by clicking on the PayPal button.

We plan to have regular public events and our ethos is very centrally based around community based living. Become a supporter and join our community activities.

Secondly, you can apply to be a full member. Being a full member entitles you to be a potential tenant of the co-operarive. This is where the co-operative has the intention to house you.
The existing members are still working on an application process for the process, so for now we encourage you to become a supporter. Once a process has been agreed upon, then we will let you know via email.

We need property!

May 5, 2016
Can you find us a property? Are you a property search hound?

We need properties. In the short term we will be leasing places. The property can be in any condition, anywhere in London.

Ideal properties are boarded up properties with security companies looking after them.

Maybe you know some property investors who are sitting on some property waiting to sell if for a profit?

Maybe it is a property waiting for planning permission to be approved.

We are looking for empty buildings with multiple floors. They could be office blocks, or old community buildings no longer used.

If you see an empty property on the street, you can photograph it and email the photo and a rough address to

In the subject line of the email put a name for the building, e.g. Enterprise House, Hammersmith.

In the body of the email put

  • A rough address or directions on how to find the building

  • Your name

  • Your mobile phone number or a way to contact you

This will automatically create a case in our case management system and will be pursued by other team members.

You will be kept informed, from the system, via email, of any progress with the property which you have spotted.

Invest In Us

May 5, 2016

Part of our journey down the yellow brick road will involve buying a property or properties.

As a co-operative we can loan money in the form of loan stock. This is a private agreement between the co-operative and you with a fixed return.

Generally, other co-operatives invest in other co-operatives. It is all part of the co-operative philosophy.

This investment will not make you a member of the co-operative, so you will have no influence on the co-operative through this investment.

Nor can we give you financial advice as we are not authorised to do so.

If you would like to help, by loaning us some money then get in contact.

About Us

May 5, 2016
Our story for how Yellow Brick Road Housing Co-op started

It all started over a glass of wine. Not any ordinary glass or wine, but a glass of wine in a large guardian property in Plaistow, East London.

As you may, or may not be aware, there is a huge housing crisis in London. One of the founding member's friends is paying £900 a month for a room, in a house share with three other people, in a property that use to be a one bedroom flat. Madness!

Over forty people found sanctuary in a dis-used council homeless shelter, in a building that use to be a small hospital. However, being a property guardian is a precarious business, and you could be made homeless, at the drop of a hat, with only four weeks notice.

Well, back to the wine, or was it rum, in fact it was both!

During an impromptu glass of wine three of our members, Adrian, Bob and Helen (names have been changed to protect the guilty!). Helen and Bob said, "You know we really want to stay here, but at any point we could get thrown out".

Adrian said, "No fear, before landing here I tried to get into a housing co-operative. We can all band together and buy this building".

Adrian looked into it and that was the start. A few days later, there was an impromptu party in the lounge (nice place, huh?) and Adrian was there. Now this was the end of the party, and he asked people if they wanted to stay and they all said YES!

Adrian contacted the building owner, and unfortunately the building is not for sale.

This is where you enter the story...

The co-op is now looking for our very own 'Emerald City'. A large building where we can house our members. This could be an empty building, in between uses, and we could take it over, on a temporary basis and provide much needed housing in London. It could be several buildings. If you see any place that might be suitable please let us know.

Our ethos, is to build a shared community of real people which has a heart, courage and intellect (sorry, can't enough of the Wizard of Oz). What it takes, is for some brave individuals to take the Yellow Brick Road.

Frequently Asked Questions

May 4, 2016
Your frequently asked questions answered.
Below are the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

How much will my rent be?
Initially we will be looking to operate as a property guardian company so you will be paying a licence fee. We do not have any properties at the moment, but we are keen to set licence fees to be competitive with other guardian companies in London