The company behind a unique retirement living village which is currently under construction in Walton, has revealed local support for the product has been overwhelmingly positive – with 75% of enquiries to date, coming from people living within a five mile radius.

The Regeneration division of ENGIE – launched its first retirement living product late last year, called LIFEstyle, which sought to address the older person’s housing and care crisis across Great Britain. 

The LIFEstyle developments will provide purpose-built, adaptable Life Long homes, as well as optional on-site support services, built in carefully selected locations to maximise the lifestyle available for those planning to enjoy and get the most out of retirement.  Residents can either customise their homes when they purchase or make adaptations later in life.

The flagship development is Waterton Green in Walton, which will offer 129 homes for over 55’s, in a variety of bungalows and apartments.

This month, the LIFEstyle team hosted a ‘Meet the builder’ event to introduce local people to the new scheme, explain the concept behind it and gauge local input.

Local residents were presented with the plans for the properties, which are intelligently designed to provide the infrastructure for SMART technology, wheelchair turning circles and level access throughout.

Customers can easily access assistive technology and mobility aids either at the time of purchase or retrospectively to ensure the property responds to their own personal need. Internal walls can be easily removed to create open space and two storey homes are ready to accommodate a through floor lift and bathrooms with wet room foundations makes it easy to convert if required.

Additional support is also available on a pay as you go basis in the form of gardening, domestic services, handy man, window cleaning and even dog walking – all organised and managed by a Lifestyle Co-ordinator; while a community hub provides the opportunity to socialise and attend activities driven by customers lifestyle.

Waterton Green has already proved a success for ENGIE, with the company taking several off-plan sales – the vast majority of which (75%) have come from people living local to the development. 90% of those are also people with a large family home to sell, which is no longer appropriate for their needs. 60% of sales have also come from those within the 55-64 age bracket – something which ENGIE described as a ‘surprise’ to local people during the consultation event.

Paula Broadbent, Retirement Solutions Director for ENGIE, said: “People don’t necessarily want to downsize or certainly not until they absolutely have to, so they end up staying in larger, inflexible homes for longer; which ultimately cost a lot to run.  This is largely due to a lack of viable options for this demographic and is why we felt strongly about launching a new Retirement product.

“There are just 7,000 annual completions of purpose built new homes for the older persons market, but research identifies to keep pace with current demand, there would need to be 60,000 new homes delivered for the over 55’s each year.

“If those approaching retirement had real options to rightsize or move to purpose built, intelligently designed houses, which can be adapted with age; they may find themselves in a more comfortable financial position.  The fact 90% of our buyers to date are those looking to sell a large family home and the majority fall within the 55-64 age group; demonstrates the appetite for this product and quashes any misconceptions about a retirement village being purely for the over 80s.

“Waterton Green promises to be a welcome addition to Walton and we look forward to working closely with the local community throughout the build.”

ENGIE has already freed up some commercial space at Waterton Green in response to the community losing its library building and offered former staff positions within the new coffee shop.