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Neighbours sit on chairs outside their front doors, chatting happily while their children play in the shared garden nearby.Other residents stroll past them carrying baskets of vegetables, fresh from the allotment, for a 'neighbourhood supper' that will be held that evening.'Another thing that unites us is that, while we're not super rich, we could all afford to buy our homes here.We were our own developers and project managers,' she says.Linda split from her husband before she moved to Sussex in the late Nineties and has brought up her three children here. The teachers at the local school are amazed by how communicative and imaginative they are.Her 18-year-old son Charlie greets me with the kind of polite charm that I don't usually encounter in boys of his age. It's because they've grown up surrounded by lots of adults.
But these new communes couldn't be further from this stereotype.'We just made it clear that we were looking for like-minded professionals.' Those who responded to the advert were sent a manifesto, making clear that it would not be an old-fashioned 'commune'.Those still interested congregated at a meeting - there were no police checks or selection committees. 'Once it was clear what we were planning, those who didn't like it dropped out.Every Friday there's a pot-luck dinner, which anyone can attend as long as they bring a dish.The community also meets one Sunday a month for lunch and to do tasks around the project.