Virtual planners pass £215m retirement scheme

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has approved plans from Inspired Villages to deliver one of the UK’s largest retirement communities on the site of its parent company Legal & General’s former Head Office in Kingswood, Surrey.

The vacant building will be transformed during a 6.5 year build programme
The vacant building will be transformed during a 6.5 year build programme

The planning committee was held via an online video conference call following new Government legislation allowing virtual council meetings to take place under the current Covid-19 lockdown conditions.

Reigate and Banstead is one of the first councils in the country to hold a planning committee meeting this way.

The scheme is set to create around 175 construction jobs annually over its 6.5 year build period.

Construction is due to commence later this year and the site is expected to have a Gross Development Value in excess of £215m when complete, making it one of the UK’s largest retirement communities by value.

Inspired Villages will transform the vacant and dilapidated site into a later living community with 270 specialist age-appropriate apartments, while preserving the long-term future of the Grade II listed building.

Plans also include up to 10 respite units, allowing Inspired Villages to work with local GP practices and hospitals to help reduce pressure on the NHS and local care services.

Stretching over 43 acres, the development will enhance the local area by offering on-site facilities such as a wellness centre, including a swimming pool, studio, gymnasium and tennis courts, dining and recreation facilities, as well as a small business centre and children’s nursery, all open to the wider community.

Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal & General, said: “Legal & General continues to make terrific progress through our partnership with Inspired Villages as we set out to revolutionise the later living offer in the UK and address the chronic shortfall in supply.

“Covid19 is already putting the care sector under extreme pressure, but by investing through and beyond the immediate crisis we believe that we can help to address the issue of future demand on the system – helping people to live in good health for longer.

“Investing in key alternative sectors where there has been a shortage of investment and innovation, and that have a wider social and economic purpose, this is an excellent match for our patient capital.

“This planning permission allows us to breathe life back into this previously obsolete scheme and maintain our legacy, while bringing jobs to local people, creating an important asset for the local community and much needed accommodation for the over 65s.”

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