Planning permission has been granted to Inspired Villages, an operator of retirement villages established by Legal & General, to build a £100m retirement community in Sonning Common, South Oxfordshire.
The scheme forms part of a wider drive to help address the shortage of suitable housing for older people in the UK, and Inspired Villages is looking to deliver 5,000 homes for over 65s, with six villages already fully operational while another four are currently under construction.
Research reveals that there are more than 12 million over 65s living in the UK, and this could rise significantly to almost 18 million by 2040. However, only around 7,000 new homes specifically designed for later living are delivered each year to add to the 78,000 already occupied.
The Sonning Common scheme will provide 133 state-of-the-art age-appropriate properties, with residents having full access to impressive communal facilities including a restaurant, cafe, hairdressers, cinema, library and craft rooms. It will also play host to a wellness centre with a swimming pool, steam room, sauna, two treatment rooms and a gym with a fitness studio.
Inspired Villages is looking to create vibrant communities carefully designed for the needs of older people, with a focus on promoting an active lifestyle, to support the holistic wellbeing for the over 65s to promote healthy, independent living in later life.
It’s research also suggests that the wider community will benefit from the scheme through the freeing-up of local family housing whilst boosting the area’s health and social care system, including savings to NHS and social care budgets and reduced GP visits.
In addition, the development is set to create over 100 jobs in the construction sector, and once complete, the village will provide in excess of 40 operational jobs.
Neal Dale, development director at Inspired Villages, said: “Achieving planning permission for our Sonning Common community is a huge win for us and an important step in our portfolio expansion, allowing us to provide suitable housing for over 65s in the South Oxfordshire area. We know the demand for age-appropriate homes is there, and receiving the green light from the Planning Inspectorate allows us to continue to support the physical and mental wellbeing of older people across the UK. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this process and supported us.”