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Urban regeneration is breathing new life into areas across the UK, revitalising towns and cities in need of investment. It’s enhancing the quality of life in these areas, attracting new residents and businesses, and contributing to the existing community.

One effective approach to achieving urban regeneration is the development of Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs). IRCs not only cater to the wants and needs of the 65+ community, but bring new facilities like gyms, wellness centres and retail to the existing community.

Thrive Living collection

Over the last 25 years, IRCs have generated £5.7bn in sales, with significant growth in the past decade. There is an increasing demand for this kind of living, and it’s outstripping supply. We strive to fill that gap by investing in the development of 40 Thrive Living IRCs across the UK within the next decade, creating 5,000 new homes with an end value of £2 billion. The communities will be whole life net zero carbon, setting a gold standard for sustainability in the residential sector.

Since the roll out of our sustainability strategy, we’ve been working hard to contribute to the social and economic vitality of the areas we’re part of, and urban regeneration is a big part of this. The new, integrated retirement communities in our Thrive Living collection are built with local businesses in mind, creating space onsite for them to thrive. In fact, we aim to place local business partnerships at the centre of our procurement strategy by 2025.

Botanical Place: a success story in West Byfleet

A prime example of IRCs regenerating urban areas is Botanical Place in West Byfleet. This development is transforming a brownfield site that had been empty for several years into a vibrant and thriving community, set to open Winter 2024.

The state-of-the-art facilities, such as the wellness suite and gym, as well as the cafés, restaurants and independent boutiques will cater to residents and locals. This amenities aim to attracted new services and people to the area. The public square around which they’re centred will introduce a new, beautifully-kept outdoor space for shared experiences across generations.

Terry Unitt, Senior Project Manager, comments,

To us, urban regeneration is about more than just financial investment, it’s about helping communities thrive. We’re here to make an impact, and partner with the right landowners that share our vision.

We’ve made sure to integrate from the outset, involving the community in the naming of buildings so that everyone feels they have contributed to the end result.

Botanical Place has been recognised for its innovation in the sector and is shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards, a testament to its positive impact on urban regeneration.

Chester: regeneration, beautifully connected to the city

Our commitment to urban regeneration extends beyond West Byfleet. We’ve begun construction on another IRC in Chester, a £36m development offering 155 modern villas, set around landscaped gardens, and facilities including a wellness suite, restaurant, café and gym. These will not only add to the daily life of the community, but will create jobs and directly impact the local economy.

We undertook an exciting project that involved the neighbourhood right from the start: creating a time capsule with the local schools. Such initiatives not only contribute to the physical transformation of the area, but strengthen the social fabric of the community.

Unlocking land opportunities

IRCs are perfectly placed to unlock the potential of land and create opportunities for
all by being integral to the housing cycle. They are quite often able to create visionary
development programmes where others have struggled to obtain consent and
permissions. This is primarily due to:

  • Engaging with local authorities and planning departments helping them recognise the value of IRCs in meeting the specific housing needs of the 65+ community.
  • Local councils and planning authorities often have targets or policies addressing the needs of the 65+ population. IRCs meet this increasing demand.
  • IRC developers, like ourselves, engage with local authorities and planning departments throughout the process, addressing concerns and demonstrating alignment with local policies.

Our Expert Team

Our development team have, combined, over 150 years of experience in the UK property industry. They appreciate the intricacies of the planning process and work closely with local councils to meet housing requirements, while understanding what facilities benefit the wider community.

We work hard to seamlessly integrate the needs of older residents with the broader urban context to create cohesive and sustainable communities. By unlocking land opportunities and collaborating with local councils, we can deliver exceptional communities that enhance the lives of older residents and benefit the wider population.

Guy Flintoft, Planning Director, comments,

Our success lies in our ability to present well-designed proposals that align with the vision and goals of the local area. By actively involving local councils from the early stages of our projects, we foster strong relationships built on trust and mutual understanding.

We’re dedicated to creating 5,000 new sustainable properties that cater to the desired retirement lifestyle of UK retirees, while always enhancing the quality of our current villages, with a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions.

If you are a landowner seeking to unlock the potential of your site, get in touch with our development team or learn about our site requirements to find out more about partnering with us. You can also download the regeneration blog here.


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