Inspired Villages has achieved outline planning permission to deliver a €111.6m (£100m) retirement community on the edge of Tunbridge Wells. Creating 146 new homes, this planning approval is the fourth achieved by Inspired Villages since lockdown began bringing the total number of consented new homes secured this year to 788.
With the support of Legal & General, Inspired Villages will develop a scheme with homes for over 65s, as well as state-of-the-art communal facilities open to residents and the local community. Due to create 88 jobs per year during construction and up to 65 operational jobs once complete, the Tunbridge Wells scheme will bring significant economic benefits to the local area. Inspired Villages research has shown that the majority of people who live in an Inspired Village move from within a 10-mile radius of the village they choose. This means the scheme will have significant benefits for the local area’s health and social care system, while also freeing up the housing market for young families.
Located in the Wealden District in East Sussex, the 9.5-acre site benefits from a beautifully landscaped setting with mature trees and a lake and is only two miles from the centre of Tunbridge Wells. Facilities will include a restaurant, café, library, wellness centre (comprising a fitness studio, gym and swimming pool) and cinema room. Inspired will now progress a reserved matters application later this year with works expected to commence on site mid-2021.
Neal Dale, Development Director at Inspired Villages, said: “This site in Tunbridge Wells is an important addition to our portfolio due to the significantly growing demand for age-appropriate housing in the local area. To win another approval is such quick succession during these unprecedented times is a testament to the outstanding need in our society for more retirement communities that support the physical and mental wellbeing of older people. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this process and supported us.”
Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal & General and Chairman of Inspired Villages, commented: “Prior to the pandemic, loneliness and isolation was a debilitating and unexpected reality affecting around 1.4m older people in the UK4. As the UK marks Loneliness Awareness Week and comes to the end of the third month since lockdown began, never has an independent community living focused on extending health span and leading to less reliance on the national healthcare system had a greater role to play in our society. This latest planning permission and those achieved throughout lockdown are a pivotal step forward in our ability to accelerate the growth of a new generation of purpose-built stock, bringing them to communities across the UK.”