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UK’s First Net-Zero Carbon Retirement Development Receives Construction Green Light


London, August 2022 – Retirement Villages Group (RVG), advised by MGAC | RLF and backed by AXA IM Alts, has announced construction of its flagship integrated retirement community, Botanical Place in West Byfleet, Surrey, will start in September 2022.

Announcing that it has entered into an agreement with Higgins Partnerships, RVG’s Terry Unitt, Senior Project Manager said, “We are delighted to share this exciting news with the communities of West Byfleet and Woking. This is a project of significant importance to us as we set the standard for sustainable, integrated retirement communities. We have enjoyed a great relationship with the council and all local stakeholders in helping shape our proposals. To now make the leap forward into construction, especially in an extremely challenging inflationary environment, is really exciting for all those that have been involved. We are all looking forward to September when the first shovel will be put into the ground and we start building Botanical Place.

“There is a lot of work ahead for both us and our colleagues at Higgins Partnerships leading up to the scheme opening in late 2024. Botanical Place will be the UK’s first whole-life, net-zero carbon retirement community and the blueprint for all our future developments as we help lead the way on sustainability, in the retirement sector.

“We have been really pleased with the support and enthusiasm of the wider community to make sure Botanical Place offers sustainable, ecological and environmental benefits. We have worked closely together throughout the project to ensure Botanical Place adds vitality and buzz to West Byfleet”.

Botanical Place will be the UK’s first whole-life, net-zero carbon retirement community and a blueprint for future developments in the retirement sector. Botanical Place is being developed by RVG as an integrated retirement community at the centre of the village of West Byfleet. It is situated on the site of the former Sheer House office block and shopping precinct. RVG has set out to create sustainable communities, connected to thriving local centres, breathing new life into urban and suburban neighbourhoods and country locations.

The scheme will be home to 197 apartments for people of 60+ to buy or rent their home. Community is at the heart of this development, focusing on upholding independence, flexibility and wellbeing. Excellent facilities including health and wellbeing amenities will be available on site, as well as a range of services and retail options for the wider public.

A new, landscaped public square will provide a central focus with surrounding shops, restaurant and a Community Space/Library. Botanical Place is a flagship project for RVG highlighting its commitment to expanding into more central and semi-urban locations following a £2bn investment programme by parent organisation AXA IM Alts.

Botanical Place will be the first net zero carbon residential scheme over its whole development and operational lifespan in the later living sector, RVG is the first developer in its sector to use UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework.

The MGAC | RLF team including Andy DedmanRoss GatesRussell SmithAlex MalloyTom ShimmonTim McQuade and Eve Crocker advised RVG on project management, cost consultancy and health and safety. Alex Malloy from MGAC | RLF commented: “We worked with the Client following their purchase of the site, to develop and submit a new planning application to reconfigure the existing outline consent to ensue it met with the requirements of RVG. This resulted in the consents now approved for Botanical Place. Following this consent, we assisted RVG in their assessment and selection of a Main Contractor and have been working with Higgins Partnerships to agree final contract terms. We’re delighted with the outcome and look forward to being involved in such a landmark project as RVG debuts its exciting new business model for the integrated retirement community sector.”

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