The Emerson Living and Learning Community – an outline

The Emerson Living and Learning Community is a new concept for sustainable living and social development which responds to the needs of humanity at a time when there are many concerns about the way we live together and relate to nature.



To register your interest in becoming part of the Emerson Living and Learning Community, please click on this link and complete the online form.

The Community:

  • is an ongoing educational and social research institute that seeks to pioneer innovative ways of meeting the needs of individuals and the community and report on its findings;
  • is a vehicle to provide practical, social and financial support for the educational and research activities of Emerson College and other cultural initiatives on the Pixton estate;
  • is informed by the philosophical, social and scientific work of Rudolf Steiner whilst being entirely non-sectarian and open to the wide range of perspectives that can contribute to environmental and social sustainability.

The Community will achieve its financial aims by contributing to the cost of the upkeep of the Emerson estate (including the gardens, roads and path ways and exterior lighting) either through rental payments or an annual service charge payable by all leaseholders, including business and education lessees. This will be apportioned according to the value of the different properties. The overall amount of the contribution will be negotiated annually with the Lessor. The upkeep will be carried out by a limited company in which all lessees will have a voice.

The Community will achieve its practical and social aims by providing various types of help around the College, such as supporting events, interacting socially with the students, offering rooms for rental and taking part in regular work days on the estate.

Membership benefits

  • Participate in a learning community which addresses the current needs of humanity by developing empathy for neighbours and mutual support at a time of heightened individualism;
  • Live in an area of outstanding natural beauty in an environmentally aware and sustainable way;
  • Enjoy use of the grounds (precise rights will be reviewed annually with the Trust by the representatives of the Community);
  • Have use of the library.
  • Membership

The Emerson Living and Learning Community has a formal constitution with clear aims and governance. Members of the Community will be able to live permanently on campus. Membership is by application to the Community and applicants would be expected to attend and meet all members at a community meeting prior to joining. The only conditions which can prevent people from being able to join the Community are if applicants do not understand the significance of the aims or do not subscribe to them. Members of the Living and Learning Community will have the right to participate in meetings of the wider Emerson Community, consisting of all those who are working or living on the estate.

It will not be necessary to own a house to live on the Estate, only to be a member of the Community (i.e. members can rent properties from the College or from leasehold owners).

Ownership of Estate Property

Some property on the estate will be sold on the open market. However the owners of the property will not be able to live in the property without joining the Emerson Living and Learning Community.

Property will be sold on a leasehold basis of 999 years. There will be a peppercorn ground rent, an annual service charge, and sales commission attached to each lease. These charges will raise funds for the educational work of the Emerson Trust.

Sales commission (payable by the seller when a lease is sold with the support of the Community and not via an estate agent): e.g. 1.5% of the sale price. It is envisaged that many properties could be sold via the College networks, thereby avoiding estate agents’ fees. Prospective sellers will be expected to inform the housing community so that their property could be sold via the anticipated waiting list. However, if this is not possible, the cost of marketing any sale would rest with the vendor.