Chester Retirement Villages

Retirement Villages picks Boughton Heath for next site

The developer and operator has revealed its plans to build a retirement community on the outskirts of Chester and has launched a consultation to gather views.

The proposals are for the former Beechmoor Garden Centre on Whitchurch Road, Boughton Heath.

The site has existing planning permission, gained by Castleoak Care Developments, also for a retirement village, which was approved on appeal in July 2019. The consented scheme totalled 110 apartments and bungalows.

Retirement Villages acquired the plot last year, and is at the early stages of working up new plans for a £32m purpose-built retirement community.

Designed to be an extension of the existing community, Retirement Villages said the scheme will provide a range of amenities, services and outdoor spaces which could also be used by people living in the area.

The consultation is looking for views on what these amenities could be, including the potential to provide facilities for people using the Boughton Heath Park & Ride next door, such as a café and shop.

Guy Flintoft, planning director at Retirement Villages said: “We all know that society is ageing and more of us are living longer. Our retirement villages provide homes where people can continue to live as they wish, and to enjoy all the things that matter to them, but with the support they need to make that possible.

“We believe that our villages should be open and useful places for people living nearby, so we’re looking at what amenities we can provide that local people can also use, such as a café or shop. There will also be plenty of outdoor space that will be open to the public. We’re at an early stage of working up the plans and we’re keen to hear from local people what they want to see at the village. Obviously, at the moment we can’t hold any events or chat to people face to face but there are plenty of other ways people can get involved.”

Those interested in responding to the consultation can visit the project website www.chesterretirementvillage.co.uk to fill in the questionnaire online.

This first stage of consultation closes on 22 May and will be followed by another stage later in the year when the designs are set to be revealed. Following the consultation, Retirement Villages hopes to submit a planning application in the summer.

Architect RCKa has been appointed to design the village and Barton Willmore is the planning consultant.

Retirement Villages has 16 sites across the UK, inspired by the design and ethos of retirement communities in America, which focus on garden settings, and encouraging hobbies and interactions between residents.

The company was purchased by European insurance and investment company, AXA, in 2017, and has a £100m development pipeline.

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Nice to see RCKa working outside the South West. Good outfit

By Anonymous

They are indeed. RCKa worked with another retirement provider who are known for pioneering design into their developments and the architectural practice has probably designed two of the best of these scheme – in Harpenden in Hertfordshire and Seaford In East Sussex. The coastal development has, I reckon, a bit of a Festival of Britain feel but updated with blonde wood and milky glass in a chequerboard pattern. The Home Counties one updates Arts and Crafts with differing brick bond patterns and fenestration which is irregular yet not irritatingly jaunty. They are both playful and well planned schemes.
Looking forward to the result in Chester.

By SW