Inspired Villages receives seal of approval for Wealden District retirement community scheme

Inspired Villages, an award-winning operator of retirement villages across the UK, today announces it has achieved reserved matters planning permission for phase one of its £100 million retirement community on the edge of Tunbridge Wells and the Parish of Frant. Phase one of the development comprises the village centre, a clinical space built to NHS specifications, and 55 of the 146 age-appropriate homes the scheme will deliver.

The approval follows a series of announcements that puts Inspired Villages on an ambitious path to deliver 34 villages for over 65s in the next 10 years, including its six operational sites and four under construction. Research shows there are more than 12m over 65s in the UK with this figure expected to increase by 41% to nearly 18m by 20401, however, there are currently only 80,000 later living homes in this country2 and only around 7,000 new units delivered each year.3 With the support of partners Legal & General and NatWest Group Pension Fund, the fast-growing pipeline aims to tackle the considerable shortage of appropriate housing for older people in the UK.

Located in the Wealden District of East Sussex, the development   will sit on a 9.5-acre site in a beautiful, landscaped setting with mature trees and a lake. Boasting state-of-the-art communal facilities open to residents and the local community, amenities include a restaurant, café, library and wellbeing centre (comprising a fitness studio, gym and swimming pool). Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee approved the detailed designs for this first phase of development, giving the scheme reserved matters planning permission on 9th December.

Due to create 88 jobs per year during construction and up to 65 operational jobs once complete, the Wealden District scheme will bring significant economic benefits to the local area. Located only two miles from the centre of Tunbridge Wells, the scheme will have significant benefits for the local area’s health and social care system, while also freeing up the housing market for young families.

Neal Dale, Development Director at Inspired Villages, said: “This is another step forward in our plans to deliver age-appropriate homes to East Sussex, an area we know is currently lacking in suitable housing for retirees in the community. Approval from the council means we at Inspired Villages can provide homes that support the wellbeing of over 65s, both mentally and physically, and help them to live independent lives for longer.”

Works are expected to commence on site in summer 2022.

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