A CEREMONIAL turf cutting has marked the start of a £39 million project to develop Charters Village, East Grinstead’s new retirement village.
Councillor Sakina Bradbury, Chairman of Tandridge District Council, was on hand to help dig the first spadeful of earth and welcomed the project saying: “With the ageing population in the area, now is the right time for a development such as this.”
Work will now begin in earnest on the 16 acre site in Felcourt Road, formerly home to the internationally renowned Bush Davies Dance School.
The manor house, Charters Towers, will become the centrepiece of the village. Following extensive refurbishment work it will house the communal facilities including a restaurant, bar, function room and library. Many of the original features, which echo the arts and crafts movement popular at the turn of the 20th century, will be retained and used as blueprints for other areas of the village.
Apartment buildings, cottages and chalet bungalows will create more than 80 individual properties for private ownership. A 60 bed care home will add to the living options, providing residential, nursing and specialist dementia care.
The site will become the 14th village in the Retirement Villages Group Ltd’s portfolio.
Work is being undertaken by Kier Construction.
Chief Executive Jon Gooding said: “We have worked closely with the local community and the local authority to come up with a scheme that will provide a range of high quality luxury homes with communal facilities offering a wonderful living environment for residents.
“In addition, the scheme will provide jobs to the construction sector during the build process and more jobs for care, catering and administration staff once the development is up and running.”
The construction contract has been awarded to Kier Construction’s southern operations where Phil Durigan is the Managing Director. He said: “We’re very excited to be starting work on site in this important project.”