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Work starts on net-zero carbon retirement community

Legal & General has confirmed work has started on the UK’s first net-zero retirement community, which will be built in central Bedfordshire.

The Millfield Green community will be located in Caddington and will bring forward 200 specialist age-appropriate homes over four phases.

It is being delivered by Inspired Villages, Legal & General’s developer and operator of later living homes.

Construction will be carried out by Willmott Dixon. Millfield Green will use renewable energy generation through on-site photovoltaics, EV-charging, improved building fabric and insultation, Mechanical Heat Vent Recovery units and ground-source heat pumps through Kensa Group; a business Legal & General took a significant stake in last year.

Alongside its environmental benefits, Millfield Green will address the chronic under-supply of age-appropriate housing across the UK, with only 7,000 being built each year.

Due to age-appropriate design, wellness facilities and services which enable quality of life, studies have shown that living in a retirement community leads to a 46% decrease in the number of planned GP visits and residents experience a 31% decrease in planned hospital admissions.

To support an increase in health span and ageing wellness, when complete, Millfield Green will benefit from a restaurant, café, wellness centre (including a swimming pool, fitness studio and gym), library and cinema room. In keeping with Inspired Villages’ ethos of creating communities in and around its villages, many of these facilities

‘We have to Build Back Better after Covid-19 and the housebuilding sector provides both jobs and vital economic resilience,’ said Later Living chief executive, Phil Bayliss.

‘Millfield Green is set to create around 1,100 jobs through construction and operation. But as we accelerate building, we have to avoid stoking up a climate crisis which will create another serious emergency. We continue to make terrific progress through our partnership with Inspired Villages as we set out to revolutionise the later living offer in the UK and address the chronic shortfall in supply. Bringing forward the UK’s first net-zero retirement community is another string to this bow, creating savings for residents and clear environmental benefits as we progress towards a carbon-free future.’

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