Farrans lands contract to start construction of £45m retirement community

Artist's impression of Sonning Common development, South Oxfordshire

Farrans Construction has been appointed by Inspired Villages to begin construction of a £45m retirement community in Sonning Common, South Oxfordshire.  

Farrans’ first phase of works will include 73 homes for over 65s and a state-of-the-art wellness suite within the village centre.

The Sonning Common scheme, once delivered in full, will provide 133 age-appropriate, sustainable homes for around 150 over 65s, as well as facilities including a restaurant, cafe, hairdressers, library and craft rooms and a wellness centre comprising a swimming pool, steam room, treatment rooms and a gym with a fitness studio. 

Some of these features such as the gym, pool, restaurant and café will be open to the wider community. 

The development will provide further benefit to the local area and economy by creating more than 100 construction jobs and in excess of 40 operational jobs once complete. 

Inspired Villages is a developer and operator of integrated retirement communities supported by joint venture funding of £500m from NatWest Group Pension Fund and Legal & General. 

Sonning Common joins a fast-growing pipeline that puts Inspired Villages on track to deliver its plan of creating 34 communities comprising of 5,100 homes for 8,000 over 65s. 

It currently operates nine villages with an additional three sites under construction.

Its latest village, Millfield Green, opens this month in Bedfordshire and is the UK’s first net zero integrated retirement community (regulated energy). 

Glenn Gilmore, regional director for Farrans Construction, said: “Sonning Common is an exciting development in the heart of an area which is experiencing significant demand for retired living accommodation, and we are looking forward to working with Inspired Villages to deliver their vision. 

“The design has brought in elements which will encourage a true community spirit, with opportunities to socialise, relax and keep active. We have an extensive later living portfolio in the UK and we understand how important it is to consider and deliver for the end users who will call this home. 

“We will be engaging with the local community throughout our work on site and we look forward to leaving a positive lasting legacy in the area.”

Neal Dale, chief property and development officer at Inspired Villages, added: “By creating vibrant, sustainable communities carefully designed for the needs of over 65s and focused on promoting a connected and active lifestyle, we know our villages improve the holistic wellbeing of residents and have positive impact to the wider community also. 

“Sonning Common is an important step in our portfolio expansion, allowing us to support the shortfall in specialist later living housing in the South Oxfordshire area.”

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