Willmott Dixon to construct £120m retirement village in Bedfordshire, UK

WCN Editorial Team 16 Mar 2021 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Willmott Dixon will be constructing a £120m retirement village called Millfield Green in partnership with Inspired Villages and Legal & General Capital, following a recently obtained net-zero carbon project.

Located in Caddington, Bedfordshire the project will see the construction of 200 apartments to help tackle the need for 9,050 new dwellings for people above 55 years, an issue which was identified in the South Bedfordshire Local Plan.

The construction starts this month and is part of Millfield Green’s five-year development programme, which will run across four phases.

Appointed for phase one, Willmott Dixon will oversee the construction of 80 apartments at the centre of the sustainable village complex along with one assisted living block, which will consist of six one- and two-bed apartments.

The company has several similar projects of retirement village constructions under its belt. This particular scheme will be Willmott Dixon, Inspired Villages and Legal & General Capital’s first net-zero retirement project.

Willmott Dixon director Michelle Cotterill said: “This project is creating a new, state-of-the-art complex to facilitate comfort and independence for retirees, and we’re also really looking forward to working towards the construction of our first net zero retirement project and moving one step closer to meeting our ambitious sustainability targets for 2030.

“It’s been amazing to work with two businesses that mirror our sustainable ethos, and we’re looking forward to implementing these eco-friendly measures into more of our projects as we continue to expand our residential portfolio and fight for a more sustainable future.”

Adhering to the contractor’s strategy of ‘Now or Never; our decisive decade’, Willmott Dixon has pledged its own operations to turn zero carbon within this decade and has plans for its supply chain partners’ operations to become net zero carbon by 2040. The UK government’s target is 2050.

Through their investment in Kensa Group, Legal & General will be installing ground source heat pumps to generate renewable energy, in addition to on-site photovoltaics, improved building fabric and insulation, and mechanical heat vent recovery units. The purpose is to make it as energy efficient as possible.

Installation of electric vehicle charging points in 10% of the parking bays is also planned, which will include 214 spaces overall upon completion.

Later Living at Legal & General Capital CEO Phil Bayliss said: “We have to Build Back Better after Covid-19 and the housebuilding sector provides both jobs and vital economic resilience. Millfield Green is set to create around 1,100 jobs through construction and operation. But as we accelerate building, we have to avoid stoking up a climate crisis which will create another serious emergency. We continue to make terrific progress through our partnership with Inspired Villages as we set out to revolutionise the later living offer in the UK and address the chronic shortfall in supply. Bringing forward the UK’s first net-zero retirement community is another string to this bow, creating savings for residents and clear environmental benefits as we progress towards a carbon-free future.”

Inclusion of green spaces throughout the village’s design reflect focus on the environment and enhance its natural setting.

Inspired Villages CEO Jamie Bunce commented: “We are delighted to be starting on site on this major new scheme and bringing forward the UK’s first net-zero carbon retirement community. There is a need to provide a greater support to our older people within society and Covid has shown us that ensuring the health and wellbeing of our older people, whilst supporting our NHS and social care services, is paramount.

“Our retirement community model focuses on holistic wellness, encouraging this in older people by providing suitable, safe, secure and stimulating environments, helping them live good, healthy, independent lives for longer. Environmental considerations are the next stage of this evolution.”

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Located in Caddington, Bedfordshire the project will see the construction of 200 apartments to help tackle the need for 9,050 new dwellings for people above 55 years. Credit: FilterGrade/Unsplash.

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