Chester retirement development will create 155 apartments

CGI of the Chester scheme

Work has started on a new retirement community in Boughton Heath, Chester, which will provide 155 apartments.

This is the second UK development by Retirement Villages Group and follows recent planning approval from Cheshire West & Chester Council for a small number of changes to the plans originally consented in 2021.

The plans will see the disused former Beechmoor Garden Centre on Whitchurch Road regenerated with the development designed as an extension to the existing community.

It will include 155 apartments set over six villas, where residents can continue to live independently, with a host of facilities and services available to enrich the quality of life and to provide support if and when it is needed.

The villas will sit alongside landscaped open spaces and a range of new local community amenities, including a new restaurant, café and wellness area, with a fitness studio and treatment rooms.

Not only will these facilities be open to the local community, but Retirement Villages Group is encouraging use of the public square and walking and cycling routes which will wind through the development.

The new community will deliver a £39m boost to the local economy, creating more than 300 jobs through the construction process.

It will also increase spending in the local area by £1.5m every year and create 30 full time jobs. Elliott Group has been appointed as the main contractor to deliver the project.

The group said the retirement community will become an exemplar of sustainability as a whole of life net zero carbon development. Through high performance construction materials, efficient heating and hot water generation via air source heat pump technology, renewable energy generation on site as well as offsetting carbon emissions, the buildings will achieve net zero carbon emissions when in use. A sustainable transport hub will provide cycle hire and electric vehicle charging points.

Guy Flintoft, planning director, Retirement Villages Group, said: “From the very outset, our ambition was that the development becomes a part of the local community, with facilities and amenities that local people can use. We put wellbeing at the heart of the development with a wellness area and extensive gardens, that residents will be able to share with friends and family, and walking and cycling routes that connect to the canal cycle network.

“We’re also proud of the sustainability standards we’ve achieved, with a commitment to a whole life net zero carbon development, helping Cheshire West & Chester tackle the climate emergency declared in the borough.”

Cllr Matt Bryan, cabinet member for housing, planning and climate emergency, said: “As Cheshire West & Chester continues to lead the way in the UK’s response to the climate emergency, this is exactly the sort of development we want to see. We’ve been really impressed with the approach to sustainability from the outset and it’s really positive to see a market leading commitment to achieving whole of life net zero carbon. This is a great example which we hope others will follow.”

The construction period is expected to take two years with the community due to open late 2024.

The village has been designed by architects RCKa. The planning consultant is Barton Willmore and community consultation was managed by Font Communications.

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