Building retirement village schemes around historic buildings

Blog posted

9th October 2009

The Leicester Mercury carried a story last week about English Heritage’s fight to stop 18th century Scraptoft Hall near Leicester being renovated as part of a multi-million pound retirement village scheme. The national conservation watchdog, according to the report, says the proposal to build apartments in the grounds would destroy the setting of this Grade II listed building.n

While it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on the plans for this Georgian home and the wider build scheme being proposed within its grounds, it does prompt a response from us as we have several examples of building our own retirement village schemes around historic buildings.n

Lime Tree Village, Dunchurch, near Rugby and Castle Village in Berkhamsted both spring to mind as good examples of where listed buildings can be sympathetically included within a new retirement village setting. In the case of Castle Village, there is a splendid Grade II listed mansion house, built originally as a family home for the Coopers at the beginning of the 20th century.n

The site itself sits on 30 acres and has been sensitively developed to comprise 150 bungalows and apartments as well as a Japanese garden, tennis court, croquet lawns and wild meadows. At Lime Tree Village, the centrepiece is Cawston House which was rebuilt in 1907. But it’s history dates back much further and makes interesting reading.n

Although the planning issues surrounding ‘old’ buildings alongside new build projects is more complicated and invariably much more costly, the end results can be amazing. Both of our villages have won national awards for their build and landscaping while the sense of achievement in breathing new life into an important part of our heritage is extremely pleasing not only to us as the developer but also our residents who now live within these wonderful settings.n

Sarah Burgessn
Sales and Marketing Directorn