The project is the result of a partnership with Birmingham City Council to improve housing choice for the city’s older people. To date three villages are open across the city and a fourth – Bournville Gardens – will be completed in autumn of this year.
The final development – Longbridge Village – represents a £35 million investment and will open in 2017. The village will accommodate 350 older people in 260 homes – 132 for shared ownership, 76 for market sale and 52 at affordable rents.
Longbridge Village forms a key part of the £1 billion, mixed-use regeneration of the former vehicle works in the city, led by regeneration specialist St Modwen.
Construction of the village began on 20 February 2015 and will be marked by an official launch and time capsule-burying ceremony.
Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Birmingham City Council, said: ‘The village in Longbridge is part of our wider pledge to transform retirement housing in Birmingham by developing five villages which address people’s lifestyle wishes as well as their health and care needs.
‘These affordable villages are providing over 1,100 apartment homes within inspirational communities that attract interest and involvement from their local neighbourhoods,’ he added.
Peter Hay, Strategic Director, Adults and Communities at Birmingham City Council, said: ‘It’s a pleasure proving that Birmingham sticks to what we say we will do, through different politicians and different roles.’
Nick Abbey, chief executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: ‘We are delighted that Birmingham City Council’s bold vision for older people has come to fruition.
‘Our aim is to broaden the choice of accommodation available to older people and to allow residents the opportunity to enjoy healthier, more active and independent lives. These five villages do precisely this,’ he added.
Hundreds of older people have already moved into the three ExtraCare villages that have opened in Birmingham. The first village was New Oscott, which opened in 2010 and was developed with Midland Heart.
Pannel Croft in Newtown opened in 2012 and most of its homes are available for affordable rent. At Hagley Road Village, which opened a year later, most of the 240 apartments are owned. The £35m Bournville Gardens village is due to open later this year and is being developed in a partnership with Bournville Village Trust.
The demand is so high for accommodation at the Birmingham villages that there are waiting lists for those that have opened. At Hagley Road Village there is a waiting list of more than 100 households and the Bournville Gardens is 80 per cent reserved 10 months ahead of completion.
The homes are affordable thanks to a combination of Homes and Communities Agency and Department of Health grants, the council partnership and a range of options to either purchase or rent. At Hagley Road Village options included £94,975 for a 50 per cent purchase of a one bedroom home or £18 per week for residents renting a one bedroom home and claiming full housing and council tax benefit.
The villages have also freed up much needed family housing. There have been more than 100 council properties released back into the community as a result of their opening and hundreds of privately owned homes have become available for younger families, most with three bedrooms or more.
Mike Murray, Senior Development Surveyor at St. Modwen said: ‘Our aim at Longbridge is to develop a truly all-inclusive community with new homes, jobs, shops and leisure uses. ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s retirement villages have a great reputation for providing high quality homes for the over 55s and will be a welcome addition to the Longbridge community.
‘We are 10 years in to our masterplan for Longbridge. New residents of the retirement village will benefit from the new Austin Park, a new Town Centre anchored by Sainsbury’s and a new Marks & Spencer opening later this year, which, along with improved infrastructure, creates a vibrancy that is attracting increasing numbers of new businesses, workers and residents.’