Construction begins on first phase of a Kent later living community

Kier has begun construction on a state-of-the-art later living community, in Leeds, near Maidstone, Kent, for Inspired Villages, a leading operator and developer of retirement villages established by Legal & General. Ledian Gardens will offer 116 one-and two-bedroom homes for over 65s, with a village centre that includes swimming pool, spa, gym, restaurant and shop. 

The seven-acre site was first granted planning permission in January 2014, with Inspired Villages purchasing the site in 2018. 

Inspired Villages currently operate six other later living villages in England, but Ledian Gardens is the first the company will have developed from concept to completion. The company, aims to open 50 more similar villages by 2024.  

Ledian Gardens will help to address the chronic shortage of age-appropriate housing in the UK, plus the central facilities will form an important meeting point for residents and the local community. 

According to statistics, over 65’s account for 18.2 percent of the local population. By 2030 it’s predicted there will be 125,000 over 65s in the catchment area and nearly 20,000 over 85s, which demonstrates the increasing demand for age-appropriate housing within the area.

Kent based Gallagher Group was appointed in July 2019 to undertake preparatory site works, building the main access road, preceding the work of main contractor, Kier. 

Kier has now begun construction on phase one of build, which consists of the village centre, plus 66 apartments and assisted-living units, which are scheduled for completion in spring 2021.

The village centre at Ledian Gardens will include a wellness suite, complete with 17-metre swimming pool, gymnasium, restaurant, bistro and bar, plus a village shop.

In a bid to lower carbon emissions and fuel bills, Ledian Gardens will use energy efficient ground source heat pumps to heat radiators and provide hot water.

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said: “I am delighted to officially declare the ground broken at Ledian Gardens. Our country’s ageing demographic means there is a growing demand for an offering such as this – beautiful, age-appropriate homes in a safe setting that offer residents access to our incredible facilities, which focus on holistic wellbeing and, if required, flexible support options as our residents age. 

“Inspired Villages is dedicated to helping promote independent living within our vibrant villages and I’m excited we are one step closer to delivering that in Leeds and helping make senior living the best years of people’s lives.”

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