Construction & Property

Published: June 6, 2022 | Updated: June 7, 2022

Work starts in Wimborne on specialist housing developer’s first urban retirement village in UK

A computer generated image of the urban retirement village on the former Wimborne Market site.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Work has started in Wimborne on McCarthy Stone’s first urban retirement village in the UK.

The Bournemouth-based retirement housing developer is delivering a £41 million housing scheme.

It comprises 67 one-and two-bedroom extra care apartments, 32 extra care bungalows and two-storey chalets as well as nine open market houses.

The village will feature a wellbeing hub, circular fitness route, vegetable garden, village green, bistro and dining areas all paired with the support of 24-hour flexible care.

McCarthy Stone says it is looking to create a ready-made supportive and vibrant community for its residents to access, whilst retaining their independence and involvement in the wider local area.

Law firm Lester Aldridge advised the developer on the purchase of the former Wimborne Market site.

Planning permission for the village was granted last year.

Dorset Council predicts the number of older people in the county will rise by 60 per cent by 2033.

Following the recent levelling-up White Paper, a new government task force was launched on the issue of older people’s housing, designed to look at ways to provide better choice, quality and security of housing for older people.

It has been estimated that some three million pensioners would like to downsize but cannot do so because of the lack of suitable housing, with only some 7,000 homes for the elderly being built each year.

Ed Garcia, pictured left, Divisional Land Director (Southern) for McCarthy Stone, said: “We are delighted to be delivering our first urban retirement village to the historic market town of Wimborne Minster.

“We had a great team of professionals working with us, managed by Senior Land Manager James Day, in particular Lester Aldridge who represented us so brilliantly, Re-Format Architects for creating such an amazing scheme and the in-house development team at McCarthy Stone.

“We are grateful to the George family for agreeing to sell the site to us and allowing us the opportunity to deliver our concept scheme so close to our Head Office in Bournemouth.”

Lester Aldridge’s team was led by Mark Benham, Head of Real Estate Group, pictured right.

He said: “There is a huge demand for all types of housing in east Dorset, including specialist housing for older people.

“McCarthy Stone’s scheme will help to increase the housing choices available for the local community and will free up family homes for the next generation.

“Lester Aldridge has advised McCarthy Stone on hundreds of its schemes and it was a pleasure to advise the company on the acquisition of such a historic site.”