With more than 12 million over-65s in the UK – and figures due to increase by 50 per cent over the next 20 years – Bath could be leading the way in championing ‘ an innovative concept for later living, aimed at combining beautiful architecture and interior spaces with ground-breaking wellness programmes to enable enriched and active lifestyles for its residents.”
I am quoting from a press release from the Legal and General Group – the new owners of the Homebase site in the city – where they are hoping to provide 300 apartments in what they call an ‘urban later living community’ which could also create 160 full time jobs.
The release continues:
“Legal & General has announced the expansion of its later living offering with the establishment of Guild Living, a developer and operator of urban later living communities. Launching with its first scheme in Bath, Somerset – Guild Living plans to deliver over 3,000 new homes over the next five years, equating to a Gross Development Value of around £2 billion.
Projections indicate that the number of over 85 year olds living in the UK is set to double by 2041 and treble by 2066 – by when there will be a further 8.6 million residents over the age of 651. Yet there has been a fundamental failure to address the specific housing, health and care needs of this demographic.
Bath and North East Somerset is also experiencing significant pressure relating to an ageing population. The number of people of retirement age is predicted to increase by nearly 6,000 (18.3%) by 2021. The most significant rate of growth in the local population will be in the number of people aged 85 and above: this is anticipated to have risen 23.9% by 2021.”
The Company says that in responding to increased urbanisation and the changing requirements of the UK’s over 65s,
“Guild Living – which is a partnership between Legal & General and a team of global experts in design, development and wellness – will deliver a new class of urban retirement community across the UK’s towns and cities, starting in Bath. Set in vibrant urban environments, Guild Living will combine beautiful architecture and interiors with ground breaking and academically-accredited wellness programmes to enable and enrich an independent, active later life.
In Bath, Guild Living has this week unveiled proposals for a 4.5-acre riverside development where it will offer a unique approach to later-living, bringing together older and younger members of the community. Residents from the local area will be able to live independently, but within a safe, purpose-built environment with the assurance that there is 24-hour support available if and when required.
Designed to provide nearly 300 apartments – to rent or buy – the scheme represents a first step towards tackling the chronic under supply of later living accommodation within Bath. According to ONS data, there are over 100,000 people over the age of 65 within a 10-mile catchment of the new site. Subject to planning, the scheme will also include a restaurant, a physiotherapy gym and pool, a Wellness Centre, a children’s nursery and retail spaces for local businesses – all of which will be open to the local community.
Guild Living’s proposals for Bath will bring many benefits to the city including the creation of up to 160 full-time jobs, it will contribute towards Bath and North East Somerset Council’s five year housing supply targets for the area and act as a catalyst for the future regeneration of the wider area as defined in the Council’s recently adopted Placemaking Plan.
The development will also alleviate pressures on local housing and health services. Creating a later-living scheme will help free up other sectors of the housing market by releasing much-needed family accommodation such as 3, 4 and 5 bedroom family homes. In addition, it is estimated there is a reduction of 30% on the demands placed on the local NHS, from residents living in supported communities.”
More information about Guild Living and the Bath scheme can be found at www.guildliving.co.uk
Legal and General have already been in the local news following an announcement that they have been selected to develop Bath Quays North, which L & G believe ” will have a significant positive impact on the city centre, generating employment opportunities and economic growth.”