Inspired Villages acquires site for its second net-zero retirement community in Hampshire

Inspired Villages, an award-winning operator of retirement villages across the UK, today announces the purchase of a site in Horndean, Hampshire, with regional developer Highwood Group. The site benefits from outline planning permission for the business to deliver 120 new net-zero carbon regulated energy homes for over 65s.

The acquisition follows announcements earlier this year that Inspired Villages will be delivering the UK’s first two operationally net zero retirement communities – Millfield Green, Bedfordshire, and Ampfield Meadows, Hampshire. The village in Horndean will support the environment through renewable energy generation, on-site photovoltaics, EV-charging, improved building fabric and insulation, mechanical heat vent recovery units and air-source heat pump technology.

Inspired Villages is backed by a joint venture partnership between Legal & General and NatWest Group Pension Fund which will see Inspired’s portfolio grow to 34 villages – including the scheme in Horndean – over the next 10 years. This ambitious pipeline aligns with their commitment to addressing the severe shortage of age-appropriate homes in the UK while also meeting the need for eco-friendly, sustainable housing. Research shows there are 12.4m over 65s in the UK but only 78,000 housing with care units, meanwhile the number of over 65s is set to increase to 18m by 2040.

Inspired Villages will be working in partnership with one of the south coast’s leading developers, Highwood Group, to submit a reserved matters application for the nine-acre site in Horndean. Once approved, work is due to start in 2022.

Alongside 120 stylish, age-appropriate apartments, the development will also include a village centre with a focus on wellbeing with facilities including a swimming pool, exercise studio, gym, library, craft room, restaurant, bar/café, and a cinema room so future residents can enjoy an outstanding lifestyle in retirement. The fitness facilities and restaurant will also be open to the local Horndean community too on a membership basis to add to the vibrancy of the village.

Commenting on the purchase, Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said: “Our recent land purchase for our Horndean community is extremely exciting for us and a vital step in both our portfolio expansion and continued commitments towards net-zero, creating a village with clear environmental benefits as we progress towards a carbon-free future.

“We know there is a growing need for age-appropriate homes in Hampshire, and this recent purchase and achieved outline planning permission from the council allows us to effectively supply this demand and support the physical and mental wellbeing of older people in the area. The project will allow us to provide suitable, safe, secure and stimulating environments for retirees, helping them live, healthy, independent lives for longer.”

Phil Prosser, Director of the Highwood Group, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have agreed terms with Inspired Villages to deliver a prestigious and landmark development on this truly unique site on the edge of the South Downs National Park.

“The partnership with Inspired Villages is also particularly exciting as this will be our first ever net-zero development. This is something that really resonates with our own commitment to building sensitively and sustainably.”

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